Emma Raducanu channelled the spirit of Flushing Meadows to inflict more Grand Slam misery on Maria Sakkari and keep her Wimbledon dream alive.

The 2021 US Open champion, 21, had beaten the world No.9 in the semi-finals on her way to that historic New York fairytale and emulated those thrilling exploits under the Centre Court roof last night.

In front of a raucous home crowd, Raducanu bounced around the famous old venue to deliver a dazzling, energy-fuelled display and secure a 6-2 6-3 triumph that booked her place in the last 16.

That equals her run to the same stage when she burst onto the scene three years ago and next she will face New Zealand qualifier Lulu Sun, where she will go in as the red-hot favourite to advance to the quarter-finals.

Sakkari is a two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist – including that Flushing Meadows showdown – and currently sits a whopping 126 places above Raducanu.

But on recent evidence, that world No.135 ranking is misleading and the Bromley ace went into the third round tussle with every chance.

Those feelings intensified almost immediately as Raducanu broke in the very first game of the match.

And after surviving two break points on her own service game, Raducanu rallied to seize the early advantage. 

Things should have got even better for Raducanu when she wasted three break points in the fifth and Sakkari, visibly fired-up in front of a partisan SW19 crowd, miraculously managed to stay in the set.

But two games later, Raducanu produced the moment of the match as she pulled off an improbable lob from the baseline to grab the double break and send Centre Court into raptures.

Raducanu safely saw out the set and cle­­arly meant business in the second when she fired a pair of fizzing backhands winners at Sakkari to clinch another crucial break.

And after producing a polished set of games on her own serve, she then broke Sakkari for the fourth and final time to keep herself on course for an astonishing second Grand Slam glory.

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