Emma Raducanu shrugged off any signs of injury as she made it through to round two of Wimbledon with a straight sets win over Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck.
The Brit had failed to complete a single grass court match in the build up to the tournament but produced a gritty performance to win 6-4 6-4 in her first match on centre-court at the All England Club.
Raducanu comes through tough test
While Van Uytvanck was unseeded for this event, she has enjoyed an impressive grass court season so far and has previously beaten the likes of Anett Kontaveit at Wimbledon.
But the Brit neutralised the threat of big-hitting Belgium by regularly switching up the pace of her shots.
While both sets were tight, Raducanu showed impressive mental resolve and broke her opponent four times in total.
Speaking after the match, she said: “I’m extremely pleased to have come through that match and looking forward to hopefully playing in front of you guys again,” she said in her on-court interview.
“I’ve been feeling it [crowd support] ever since I stepped on to the practice courts, people behind me going, ‘Emma, you’ve got this’. And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’ve got this’.
“I’m just so happy to stay another day.”
No signs of injury
Raducanu was forced to retire from her opening match at the Nottingham Open because of a thigh injury and it remained to be seen whether she’d be fit in time for Wimbledon.
The teenager missed an open training session on Friday, prompting speculation that she might withdraw from the competition, but the Brit put those rumours to bed and stressed she was “raring to go.”
Fans will be pleased based on today’s evidence as there were no signs of the thigh injury that had been troubling her.
The Brit was involved in multiple long games during the match but did not appear to suffer from fatigue.
Nonetheless, the US Open champion will be pleased to have come through the match in two sets and now has two days to recover before her next match.
Who will Raducanu play next?
Next up for the 10th seed is France’s Caroline Garcia, who beat fellow Brit Yuro Miyazaki in three sets.
Garcia has won eight WTA titles during her career and has been ranked as high as fourth in the world in the past.
Raducanu beat the 28-year-old at Indian Wells earlier this year and will be confident of progressing to round three if her body continues to hold up.