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What next for Lulu Sun: Tennis star ready for new expectations after Wimbledon run



What next for Lulu Sun: Tennis star ready for new expectations after Wimbledon run

Lulu Sun reacts after beating Emma Raducanu of Great Britain in the fourth round of the Wimbledon Championships. Photo / Getty Images

She was still working her way through the messages of support.

“I can’t count really, I’ve been trying to message everyone back. It’s incredibly a lot more than before. So I’m trying to do that, from the time that I can. The amount of support that I’ve received from the people who are watching here at Wimbledon to the people that were watching in New Zealand is amazing and just really surreal to be able to receive that much support. I’m just in awe really.”

Sun’s world ranking will improve from 123 before Wimbledon to the mid-50s when the world rankings are updated, which won’t happen until after the Paris Olympics. That means she will avoid qualifying for grand slams after becoming the first qualifier to reach the final eight at Wimbledon since 2010. It also means invites to bigger tournaments and more prize money after earning a career-high $782,056 this week. Earlier this year she won $10,022 for winning a lower-level ITF event.

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“I’m going to be able to play more WTA tournaments… it will be a lot easier to schedule in tournaments which will benefit a lot because time is important and it helps you if you’re able to schedule better and go to the tournaments where you know in advance where you’re going to go, it helps with preparation and training.

“It will definitely help me in development and progress.”

“Even when you’re 80 or 90 it’s really a tough environment because when you’re playing the ITF’s you’re not really getting as much money as you do if you’re playing the top events, the grand slams or the top WTA events. So you really have to pay everything by yourself. And this is not exactly a cheap sport,” Sun added.

“You can get a racquet and ball and play with your friends but as a professional it’s not a cheap sport. Everyone at the ITF level is fighting to get to this position so it’s something each and every player is working hard every day. So to have that jump is really important and necessary to further develop. With that you can prepare better.”

She’s withdrawn from this week’s Hungarian Grand Prix tournament as she isn’t in the main draw and it was a tight turnaround to make the qualifying. Instead she will begin preparation for the Olympics where she will play in the doubles with Routliffe.

“The Olympics is something bigger than yourself. You’re representing a country. Erin has a lot of experience on tour already. I’ve just experienced Wimbledon so I think with both of our experiences on tour so far and our games, I think will give 100 percent obviously to each match that we’re going to play, and give it all for New Zealand.”

Sun is aware the expectations will now lift and she’s happy with that.

“Obviously it’s going to come after my couple of wins here at Wimbledon,” Sun said, slightly downplaying her seven-victory run through to the quarter-finals.

“I don’t think pressure is necessarily a bad thing. It depends on how you take it and obviously if I keep improving and keep working, I think results will come. I can’t focus on, you know ‘I wanna win, I wanna win’ because that’s not going to help as much as improving on every little aspect that I can towards my tennis.”

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