Raducanu Avoids Brutal Wimbledon Draw With Last-Minute Withdrawal

Raducanu Avoids Brutal Wimbledon Draw With Last-Minute Withdrawal

by Zachary Wimer

Emma Raducanu was supposed to play Ekaterina Alexandrova in the first round of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships, but she won't, as the Russian withdrew due to illness.

Raducanu arrived in London after a really solid grass season that included some impressive wins, like the one over Jessica Pegula in Eastbourne. The Brit was fired up, admitting she had found her passion for tennis again, and many had very high expectations of her.

The Wimbledon draw wasn't that kind to her, as she got a grass specialist, Alexandrova, who has a 67 % win percentage on the surface and is 39-19 overall on the grass courts.

Raducanu was well aware of the danger in that matchup, as she admitted to feeling like an underdog ahead of the match, which was very cautious language.

She was far more confident before the draw, but unfortunately for fans, they won't see that matchup. Alexandrova had to withdraw at the last minute due to an illness, which sent lucky loser Renata Zarazua to the courts to face Raducanu.

The Mexican is a far easier matchup because she has a 7-9 record on grass all-time and is barely ranked inside the Top 100. Raducanu is now the huge favorite in this match simply because she's far more familiar with the surface and is overall a far better player.

That doesn't mean it will be easy for the Brit because last-minute changes like this can really impact the game plan and preparation. The match will be played as the second match on the Centre Court, following the opening of the court by Gentlemen's singles defending champion, Carlos Alcaraz.

It's a 'lucky break' for the Brit, who was picked by many as a dark horse if she can play well. A good and comfortable start should set her on that path, and her match against the Mexican may provide just that.


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