London, July 3:  Emma Raducanu reached the third round of women's singles at the home Grand Slam with an emphatic 6-1, 6-2 victory over Elise Mertens, while her namesake Emma Navarro eased past former World No.1 Naomi Osaka 6-4, 6-1 on Centre Court at Wimbledon on Wednesday. The day belonged to the two of them as they made the most of their chances and romped past their opponents, with Raducanu dropping only three games in the process. Marketa Vondrousova Is First Defending Women’s Wimbledon Champion Out in First Round Since 1994.

The match between Raducanu and Mertens was on No.1 Court, Wimbledon’s second-largest venue, played under a closed roof. Born 21 years ago in Toronto, Canada, Raducanu moved with her family to England when she was two years old. Having come through the ranks of British tennis, she shot into the limelight by winning the US Open as a teenager. On Wednesday, she was in her element against Mertens. The first set was over in a flash. Raducanu saved both break-point opportunities by Mertens, the No.33-ranked player among Hologic WTA Tour players. At the same time, she broke Mertens’ serve twice, taking advantage of 12 unforced errors by the 28-year-old Belgian. Raducanu crafted another break in the third game of the second set and repeated the feat in the fifth. Wimbledon 2024: Novak Djokovic Achieves Simple Straight-Set Victory Against Czech Opponent Vit Kopriva on Grand Slam Return.

Next up for her is  No.9 Maria Sakkari who beat unseeded Arantxa Rus. Raducanu has never played Rus but it’s worth noting that she won her only previous match against Sakkari -- in the semifinals on the way to the 2021 title in New York. Navarro, the 23-year-old from Charleston, South Carolina, needed only 58 minutes to topple four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka of Japan. In her first career appearance on Centre Court, Navarro never faced a break point in the showdown.

Navarro, the 2021 NCAA champion from the University of Virginia, was outside the Top 50 a year ago but is currently ranked a career-high No.17. She has now made the third round or better at all three Slams this year, so far peaking with a Round of 16 showing at Roland Garros. If Navarro wants to make another Grand Slam Round of 16, she will have to beat red-hot Diana Shnaider in the third round. The 20-year-old Shnaider stormed past 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-1, 6-1 in just 49 minutes on Wednesday. Wimbledon 2024: Andy Murray to Compete in Mixed Doubles With Emma Raducanu After Pair Receives Wild Card.

Shnaider has beaten Navarro twice this year, most recently just last week in the Bad Homburg semifinals. Shnaider went on to win that grass-court event for her second title of the year, and she is currently ranked a career-high No.30. Navarro and Osaka had no trouble on serve in the first six games of Wednesday's match, but at 3-3, Osaka fired four straight unforced errors to hand Navarro a love break. At one juncture, Navarro reeled off 10 points in a row, although she had to tough out a deuce game to consolidate for the 5-3 lead.

Osaka quickly regrouped on serve, powering through a love hold to force Navarro to serve for the set. The American was up to the task, garnering set point with a strong overhead, then converting that chance with a fiery forehand, her ninth winner of the set. A drop volley misfire by Osaka gave Navarro a quick break point in the opening game of the second set, and Navarro took her chance, carving a groundstroke to force an Osaka error and take the early lead.

Navarro cruised home from there, halting new mom Osaka's return to Wimbledon after a five-year absence. Navarro finished the match with a clean 16 winners to just five unforced errors.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 04, 2024 12:33 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website