July 14, 2024

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Tears of joy in New Zealand tennis as sunshine hits Wimbledon.  — Dean of Guadalajara

Tears of joy in New Zealand tennis as sunshine hits Wimbledon. — Dean of Guadalajara

When qualifier Lulu Sun wept after reaching the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, tears were shed around the world at her tennis club in a small town in New Zealand.

Sun, ranked 123rd in the world, wept openly on center court after setting a New Zealand record with a stunning 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 fourth-round win over 2021 US Open champion Emma Raduganu. quarter-finals at Wimbledon.

Sun, 23, was born in Te Ana, a remote town near the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island.

A small party erupted early Monday morning at the local tennis club as their latest Wimbledon victory unfolded.

Te Anau Tennis Club president Greg Sheppard said he and about 20 members were glued to the club’s television to watch Sun win.

“It was stressful and very exciting,” Shepherd told AFP.

“When he started crying, we had a few tears in the club too. It was very exciting.

“We’re absolutely delighted for her. It’s amazing, something we’ve never had before. “It’ll be great to see Lulu when she comes home.”

Sun is the daughter of a Chinese mother and a Croatian father.

After living in Te Anau, a town he describes as “more goats and deer than people”, Sun moved to Shanghai with his mother before settling in Switzerland.

Until this year, she competed under the Swiss flag after playing college tennis in the United States.

Sheppard said he was “enormously proud” of the Sun’s performance so far.

“I think if you dig a hole you’ll come out at Wimbledon. We’re on the other side,” he joked.

The draftsman said he had trouble concentrating at work on Monday.

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“I got home around 7am and charged my phone and the battery died twice. “My phone keeps ringing when the Suns play Croatia’s Donna Vekic in the quarterfinals on Tuesday,” Shepherd said.

Sun will attempt to become only the second New Zealand woman to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam since Belinda Cardwell at the 1989 Australian Open.

“We’d have it at the beginning of the night or the other end, where we could enjoy a cooked breakfast while watching our next game,” Shepherd said, recalling Sun playing as a 13-year-old girl. The best men in the club.

Their most recent appearance at the club, which has about 120 members, was an exhibition in 2018, and they will invite the Suns to a match in December.

“We’re hoping he’ll come and show us a trophy or a medal or two,” Shepherd said.

“I don’t know if we can play a little tennis with her, it would be nice if we could.”