Lulu Sun reacts after Wimbledon Quarter-Final exit

Publish Date
Wednesday, 10 July 2024, 2:42PM

By Alex Powell

Lulu Sun has revealed she struggled with cramps after the physical toll of a Wimbledon campaign that led to a quarter-final exit on Wednesday morning (NZ time).

After coming through qualifying, Sun became the first New Zealand woman to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals in the open era, but lost to Croatia’s Donna Vekic in three sets.

However, Sun’s incredible run came off the back of having to qualify for the main draw, and meant the match against Vekic was her eighth of the tournament.

In comparison, Wednesday’s quarter-final was Vekic’s fifth match on court.

Fatigue clearly played its part in Sun’s defeat who, after taking the first set, dropped the second and third to miss out on a place in the semifinals.

“It was a tough match,” said Sun. “Donna played really well, she picked it up in the second set.

“Towards the end of the second and third [sets], I had some trouble with cramps.

“That’s maybe the only regret I have, I couldn’t keep up physically. But she played better [than me] today.

“She deserved the win.”

Regardless, Sun’s achievements still stand on their own.

The 23-year-old has become a tournament darling not only in New Zealand, but around the world.

In her opening round Sun eliminated eighth seed Zheng Qinwen, before ending local English hopes with victory over Emma Raducanu in the fourth round.

Tennis clubs throughout New Zealand have been filled with weary-eyed spectators braving the early mornings and late nights to catch Sun in action, given the time difference between Aotearoa and the UK. That support for Sun hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“I’m honestly just happy to see that in New Zealand. To be able to have people watch tennis more and more and grow Tennis New Zealand itself, for future generations as well,” she said.

“I’m super-pumped that that is happening. I can’t wait for it to grow.”

Reaching the quarter-finals of a grand slam is no mean feat, and for Sun, it will bring its own rewards.

Aside from a six-figure payday for reaching the last eight, she is guaranteed free tickets for life at the home of tennis.

What’s more, her world ranking will jump from 123rd into the 50s, and open doors to other high-profile tournaments.

“It definitely helps with the schedule. Unfortunately, the rankings won’t come immediately.

“I might have to adjust for some tournaments after this. But definitely, being inside the top 100 will help immensely.

“I’m going to be able to play more and more WTA tournaments, which is really nice as well.

“I’m looking forward to it.”

For now, though, Sun’s challenge will be the Paris Olympics, where a doubles team-up with Erin Routliffe awaits.

But in terms of the biggest lesson learned from SW19?

“The main thing is to keep fighting until the end,” she said. “Through qualis, that’s really important, and in the main draw as well.

“And just to enjoy each match, and enjoy tennis.”

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission

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