Emma Raducanu has had a dazzling rise: now the real challenge begins

Wimbledon’s 18-year-old sensation will have to continue her progress away from the limelight to find long-term success

Shortly after Coco Gauff victoriously returned to Centre Court on Thursday for her first match there since her breakthrough run to the fourth round of Wimbledon as a 15-year-old in 2019, she was asked in her press conference how different the experience felt two years on. Gauff shrugged. She didn’t really know. “I think the biggest thing is I don’t really remember much from my Centre Court experience in 2019,” said Gauff. “I don’t know, I felt like it was all a blur.”

In all her amnesia, Gauff inadvertently touched on one of the key qualities of professional tennis – success requires short-term memory. One result, no matter how transformative it feels at the moment, is just one result. Gauff has competed in 25 tour-level events since then and each of them have been as important in her development. After entering her first Wimbledon as a 15-year-old with a wildcard into the qualifying event, she returned as the 20th seed.

Related: ‘Experience caught up with me’ says Raducanu after Wimbledon withdrawal

Related: ‘A very bright future’: Praise for Emma Raducanu as Wimbledon run ends

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