TENNIS

Tennis fans rave over details of Emma Raducanu’s outfit

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Emma Raducanu wore a Rafa Nadal jersey during her post-match press conference at Wimbledon. Image: Wimbledon/Getty

Emma Raducanu channeled her inner Rafa Nadal as she advanced to the second round at Wimbledon on Monday to the delight of her home crowd.

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The 19-year-old US Open champion beat Alison Van Uytvanck 6-4 6-4 in the first round despite failing to win the match.

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Raducanu came to Wimbledon with concerns on his physical condition but broke his Belgian opponent’s serve in the seventh game of the match.

Van Uytvanck broke but Raducanu again took the initiative by breaking again, then survived a tough test on his serve to win the first set 6-4.

The pair traded breaks in the second set and Raducanu broke again in the ninth game, comfortably holding serve and sealing victory with a backhand volley much to the delight of the crowd.

However, it was her actions at the post-match press conference that drew the most attention, as she wore a polo shirt with Nadal’s raging bull logo on the front.

She was also seen wearing a Nadal jersey on the training ground on Monday morning ahead of her match.

Explaining why she chose to wear Nadal’s shirt, the Briton said she was looking to learn from the 22-time Grand Slam champion, who won the Australian Open and French Open until present this year.

“I think Rafa just embodies the fight, that kind of energy,” she said.

“That’s what I bring. In terms of energy, I think I’ve had a tough year, like it’s no secret.

“It’s worth going out on center court and getting a win like that.

“I’m definitely very happy to be here. All the lessons I learned from last year will only hold me in good stead for the future.”

Fans were sent into a frenzy after spotting Raducanu in Nadal’s jersey, but the reaction wasn’t entirely positive.

Emma Raducanu overcomes injury problems at Wimbledon

Raducanu, who hasn’t won more than two matches in a tournament since her maiden Grand Slam triumph at the US Open last year, will face France’s Caroline Garcia in the second round.

She admitted her preparations for Wimbledon had not been ideal.

“I didn’t play tennis for two weeks, then this week I hit about an hour a day,” she said.

“My preparation was not necessarily the best.

“But I know that when it comes to games, I really feel like I’m active. I don’t feel like I need massive preparation. Of course, I have to build physically .

“I think a lot of it is mental, and I definitely left with the belief today.

“I know I can compete with anyone on the other side of the pitch when I really go there.”

Emma Raducanu, pictured here in action against Alison Van Uytvanck at Wimbledon.

Emma Raducanu in action against Alison Van Uytvanck at Wimbledon. (Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the new world No. 2 Ons Jabeur recorded an impressive 6-1 6-3 win over Swedish qualifier Mirjam Bjorklund to be the first big gun to advance to the second round.

Estonian third seed Anett Kontaveit followed suit, beating American Bernarda Pera 7-5 6-1.

Jabeur’s win atoned for a shock first-round French Open loss to Magda Linette in her last Grand Slam outing.

“I don’t like making the mistake twice,” Jabeur said.

“I learned a lot from the first round at Roland Garros. Obviously, everything feels different here. I feel, like, more ready.”

The 27-year-old is the first African to reach second place in the rankings and said she hopes to inspire more Arabs to take up the sport.

with agencies

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