Having navigated a tricky opening round, things will not get any easier for Emma Raducanu. The home favourite will face an opponent in a confident mood with Caroline Garcia coming off a title in Bad Homburg, the eighth of her career and third on grass.
Garcia did not look like a confident and inform grass courter in round one, needing a match tiebreak to finally see off the inexperienced Yuriko Miyazaki. The Frenchwoman was strapped up a fair bit and may well be feeling the effects of a tough week so will be happy with the rest day ahead of this match.
Having drawn one of the tougher unseeded players in Alison Van Uytvanck, Raducanu had looked like one of the seeds most in danger in the opening round of the tournament. As it was, she made a mockery of those predictions with a tactically savvy performance against the Belgian. “I felt good out there. There were some tough moments in the second set physically, but I told myself, ‘Push through, if you win in two sets, then you don’t have to play three.’” she said after the 6-4 6-4 win.
Between a mounting fatigue for Garcia and a still rusty Raducanu, this one could be a scrappy affair. The confidence gained from Raducanu’s win will do wonders for the Brit though, who still does have to prove and establish herself – even as a slam champion. Te fan support could make the difference though with a vocal Centre Court crowd doing all they can to will her over the line.
Prediction – Emma Raducanu in three sets
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About Aaron Higgs
Experienced tennis writer with a focus on event previews and results.