Lulu Sun becomes second women’s player from New Zealand to reach a grand slam fourth round | The Sporting Base
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Lulu Sun becomes second women’s player from New Zealand to reach a grand slam fourth round

July 6, 2024

Lulu Sun becomes second women’s player from New Zealand to reach a grand slam fourth round

The third round of Wimbledon began on Friday, with a notable result taking place in the women’s singles draw. On Court 15, Lulu Sun of Te Anau, New Zealand defeated Lin Zhu of China 7-6, 7-6. Sun won the first set tiebreak 7-4, and the second set tiebreak 8-6. As a result, Sun became only the second women’s tennis player from New Zealand to reach the fourth round of a grand slam tennis tournament.

According to tennismajors.com, the first player to accomplish the feat was Belinda Cordwell of Wellington, New Zealand. Cordwell reached the fourth round of the Australian Open in 1988, and again in 1989. At the 1988 Australian Open, Cordwell lost in the fourth round to the sixth seed, Helena Sukova of the Czech Republic, 7-6, 6-3. Sukova reached four grand slam singles titles in her career (1984 and 1989 Australian Open, and the 1986 and 1993 United States Open).  Then at the 1989 Australian Open, Cordwell advanced all the way to the semifinals. Cordwell’s most notable win in the 1989 Australian Open came in the first round where she beat Barbara Potter of the United States, the seventh seed, 6-3, 6-3.

In addition to beating Zhu at Wimbledon this year, Sun upset the eighth seed and 2024 Australian Open finalist Qinwen Zheng of China 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round and Ukrainian qualifier Yuliia Starodubtseva 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the second round. In the fourth round, Sun will face 2021 United States Open champion Emma Raducanu of Great Britain. This will be their first ever meeting head-to-head. Interestingly, Sun is the highest seeded player (123rd) to Raducanu at 135th.

It should be noted that on the men’s side, New Zealand had a major star in tennis at the beginning of the 20th century. Anthony Wilding of Christchurch won the 1906 and 1909 Australian Open, and the 1910, 1911, 1912 and 1913 Wimbledon.


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