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Te Anau player Lulu Sun beats Raducanu to make Wimbledon quarter-finals

Jul 08, 2024

Kiwi tennis player Lulu Sun has turned on a brilliant display to win her fourth round match against Britain's Emma Raducanu.

Sun won 6-2 5-7 6-2 in two hours 45 minutes.

Sun took the first set 6-2 easily enough, but Raducanu fought back strongly to win the second 7-5.

Early in the third set Raducanu slipped on the grass and had a brief time out.

Sun broke the Briton twice in the third set and looked in control throughout.

She is guaranteed $782,000 for reaching the last eight.

In her post-match interview Sun was in tears before composing herself with the help of a generous ovation from the British fans, the BBC is reporting.

"I don't really have the words right now..."

The Kiwi qualifier went on to say her superb grass-court game has been aided by watching Roger Federer coming to the net and watched YouTube videos of Steffi Graf versus Martina Navratilova from back in the day.

"It was just so amazing to watch them. Of course I couldn't watch them live but I was taking it it all in from the pros, and trying to do that for my game," Sun said.

Her sister and her mum were also in tears in the player box at Wimbledon.

Former world No 1 Ash Barty who is now a BBC commentator said Sun's performance showed her intent, bravery and courage.

Sun will play Donna Vekic from Croatia in the quarter-finals.

The president of her home club in Te Anau Greg Sheppard told Morning Report it was a nerve-wracking watch but "she's just on absolute fire".

"At the end of that first set, I thought it started to look like the matches just kept getting easier and easier for her as she got through the draw and that's not how it's supposed to happen."

At just 23, Sheppard said Sun was "just warming up" and he always knew she would be a bit of a "super star".

He said she was an aggressive player with an incredible amount of power, and knew how to hit a ball.

"I want her to bring that Wimbledon trophy and an Olympic gold medal to show us, that would be quite cool."

Sun is the first New Zealand woman to make the fourth round since Dame Ruia Morrison in 1959.

Sun had announced her arrival at the UK's Grand Slam tournament by ousting world number eight Qinwen Zheng in the first round before beating fellow qualifier Yuliia Starodubtseva of Ukraine.

She has caused a major surprise with her progress at Wimbledon, beating China's Zhu Lin early on Saturday in their third round match.

Sun has also been named in the Olympic team for Paris later this month. She will play doubles with Grand Slam winner Erin Routliffe.


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