Emma Raducanu excited to embrace 'special' opportunity to play on Wimbledon's Centre Court

Emma Raducanu joins defending champion Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray on Centre Court during the opening day of Wimbledon on Monday.

Reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu will start her Wimbledon run at Centre Court on Monday.

The 19-year-old stunned the world to win the final Grand Slam of 2021, and returns to SW19 as world No.11.

She's struggled to emulate her US Open form so far this year, but it hasn't stopped Raducanu's excitement at playing in front of a home crowd.

Raducanu described it as "special" to be able to play Centre Court, alongside defending champion Novak Djokovic and two-time winner Andy Murray.

"I think that's a pretty cool line-up," said Raducanu.

"Just to be included amongst those names is special in itself. I never would have thought that. I'm obviously looking forward to getting out there."

Raducanu's best run at Wimbledon came in her fourth round exit in last year's tournament. She'll hope to better that this summer, but will first have to navigate her way past Belgium's Alison Van Uytvanck.

The pair have faced each other once before - at a second tier tournament in Chicago last summer. Raducanu was still a young prospect waiting for her breakthrough, while Van Uytvanck was the No.1 seed.

Raducanu came out on top in that particular bout, and she'll hope for a repeat on Monday afternoon.

"I definitely feel like game-wise I back myself pretty much against anyone. I feel if I really put my mind to it and commit then I can be pretty good. So I'm definitely looking forward to the match.

"But she's a really tricky opponent, especially on grass courts. I think this surface definitely suits her well. She plays a pretty quick, high-tempo game. It's definitely going to take some getting used to, being prepared for that straightaway.

"It's definitely going to be a tough match-up, but every match is at this level. I'm still ready to go."

Raducanu has managed just seven competitive games on grass this season, with a side strain injury she suffered in Nottingham hindering her preparations.

But now declared fit and ready to go, all eyes will be on the British No.1 during Monday's blockbuster start to Wimbledon.

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