Emma Raducanu labelled ‘the real deal’ and compared to her tennis idol amid Wimbledon run

Wimbledon: Crowd roars as Emma Raducanu wins

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Former world No 1 Mats Wilander has tipped Emma Raducanu to enjoy a long and successful career at the highest levels of the game as the teenager prepares to face Ajla Tomljanovic in the fourth round at Wimbledon. Raducanu has been one of the success stories of this year’s tournament, producing some incredible tennis to maintain her Grand Slam dream and pleasing many of the fans in attendance at the All England Club in the process.

The 18-year-old stunned last year’s French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova in the second round of the competition before sealing a last-16 berth on Saturday with another nerveless display against Sorana Cirstea.

Raducanu slipped to a 3-1 lead in the opening set, but battled back to claim the spoils and extend her debut Grand Slam campaign by another couple of days at the very least.

She only sat her A-levels earlier this year and made her first WTA appearance last month, but has quickly established herself as a home favourite at Wimbledon and will be hoping to keep up her winning form for as long as possible.

Speaking after Raducanu’s latest victory, Wilander waxed lyrical over the Brit’s impressive mental outlook and age-defying composure despite her tender years.

The 56-year-old told Eurosport that he believes Raducanu can emerge as a top-level player in years to come, admitting that she bears many similarities with her idol and two-time Grand Slam champion Li Na.

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“Amazing scenes,” said Wilander. “She is the real deal, and I am talking about the mindset. An incredible mindset and an incredible mover.

“She played incredibly. She has a great mindset, and just the way she handled it.

“She had so many break points in that second set and somehow, like a mature tennis pro who has been on the tour for years, she handled that setback.

“She plays like her idol, Li Na. The forehand is almost an identical copy. She really is a fantastic tennis player and there is nowhere she is going to go but up. She is going to improve and improve.

“The fact that she turned that match around, and Cirstea came back, that is such a confidence boost and such a telling point that she is here to stay.

“She moves incredibly well and she has real strength. She has literally everything. She can be a superstar.”

Raducanu will face Tomljanovic of Australia in the next round at Wimbledon after the latter overcame former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko on Saturday.

The Canadian-born British player will be hoping to reach the quarter-finals with another victory over her next opponent, who has a WTA singles ranking of 117.

Speaking after her win over Cirstea on Court One, Raducanu told reporters: “I am so speechless right now.

“I didn’t know what my reaction would be, and then that just happened. I’m so, so grateful for all the support I had today.

“This is by far the biggest court I’ve played on. I think I coped quite well in the beginning, I just tried to hold my nerve.

“When I was packing to come into the bubble, my parents said: ‘Aren’t you packing too much match kit?’. I think I’m going to have to do some laundry tonight!”

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