Emma Raducanu Out Of Wimbledon After Second Round Defeat To Caroline Garcia

France's Garcia fully deserved her 6-3, 6-3 victory over Raducanu, who had a hampered build-up to this year's competition
19:32, 29 Jun 2022

Emma Raducanu departed Wimbledon on Wednesday night after being dumped out in the second round on Centre Court by France’s Caroline Garcia acknowledging that hard graft is the only way forward now her game is not such a secret or surprise package, and the US Open triumph honeymoon period is well and truly over. 

The 19-year-old Raducanu was touch and go to play in her home grand slam, and to the teenager’s immense credit she did not once blame a lacklustre display on the side injury that had limited her preparation and even cast doubt on the world No11’s participation. 

That did not though halt a fierce and intense spotlight on the British No1 in the build-up to the annual SW19 two-week extravaganza – something that elicited sympathy from fellow Brit Harriet Dart, a winner the same afternoon, in an earlier press conference.

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World No55 Garcia, who admitted that before Raducanu’s win in New York last year it was hard to find any videos of her, had with her coach done her homework and also learned from a three-set defeat in Indian Wells. She fully deserved a 6-3, 6-3 victory. 

Remaining aggressive and on the front foot throughout, Garcia, 28, after winning on her Centre Court debut, said: “When Emma came on tour, no one knew her. When you are young and you are coming up and obviously no one knows you, it's always positive on your side, because you can analyse your opponent a lot and know how they play. 

“But for them obviously it's pretty tricky most of the time to find videos or good quality matches where you can watch how they are doing. Then obviously suddenly everyone knows you, especially when you are doing great, which is her case. I learned some stuff when I played against her in Indian Wells and tried to learn from my loss and makes things better.”

Caroline Garcia
Caroline Garcia

Raducanu, addressing the issue of opponents knowing her game better, said: “Of course it will make me a better player because they're just highlighting all my weaknesses. Then when you do it on a big court like that, it's definitely magnified. It's just great for me to get all these lessons at such a young age so that when I'm in my mid-20s, I'll have those issues or little glitches in my game sorted. 

“It is tough to lose any match, but Caroline played a great match. I couldn’t find a way through her. I declared myself fully fit when I walked out onto the court on the first day. But I've played seven hours of tennis in a month. To even compete with these girls at this level and win a round I think is a pretty good achievement. 

“I am 19 years old. Yes, I have had attention. But I'm a slam champion, so no one's going to take that away from me. Yeah, if anything, the pressure is on those who haven't done that.” 

And looking ahead to her defence of her US Open crown later in the year, she added: “There's no pressure. Like, why is there any pressure? I'm still 19. Like, it's a joke. I literally won a slam. Going back to New York, it's going to be cool because I have got a lot of experiences playing on big courts, playing with people in the stadium, playing with the spotlight on you. I mean, for me, everything is learning. I'm embracing every single moment that is thrown at me.” 

The way Raducanu’s career is going, it can be difficult to get a really accurate steer on where her true level really is. At the US Open in 2021, the fairytale nature of her run through qualifying to the title in New York slightly masked the calibre of her opponents on that run to the final. Laylah Fernandez beat better players and genuine contenders, but then did not turn up in the final. 

And so it was again at Wimbledon, where Raducanu exited early, but this time with a genuine excuse of the hampered build-up due to injury, even if she chose not to play that card very strongly in public. Her level of performance against Garcia was not so very different from that against Alison van Uytvanck in the first round. 

It’s just that Garcia did not spray around anywhere near as many unforced errors as the Belgian, and offered up nothing like as many easy points. It is only going to get harder for Raducanu who indicated physical conditioning is a priority, but she has shown she has the capacity to learn quickly, and the stomach for the fight. 

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