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Lulu Sun's Wimbledon run: A fluke or the start of a new era for New Zealand tennis?

New Zealand’s Lulu Sun has been in red-hot form this year at the Wimbledon. The world number 123 entered her second Grand Slam tournament of her career as a qualifier, and now she has reached the QF of this prestigious grass court event. With this incredible run, she has now secured herself $474,616 from this tournament. It’s almost 1.5 times more than her entire career earnings before this tournament. If she reaches the SF, she will earn $904,936. Her incredible performance has made her the talk of the town in not just New Zealand, but also in the rest of the world. Has she now become the first-ever Kiwi tennis star to make it to the QF at SW19?

Recently she shared a post on her Instagram stories, which was shared by Tennis New Zealand’s official page. It said, “The legend and the legacy. In 1957, Dame Ruia Morrison was the first Māori woman to play @wimbledon, reaching the fourth round — now 67 years later, @lululsun becomes the first New Zealand woman to reach the final 8.” However, that’s not the only record she has made this year at this iconic venue.

She has now also become the second woman from New Zealand to reach the QF of a major tournament in the Open Era.  Belina Cordwell did it at the Australian Open in 1989. The last time a New Zealander reached the QF at Wimbledon was in 1983. It was Chris Lewis from the men’s division to achieve that extraordinary feat. So, the ‘Land of Kiwis’ has a fair bit of history in this racquet sport!

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Polls of the day

Polls 1 of 4

Is Lulu Sun's Wimbledon quarter-final run the greatest achievement in New Zealand tennis history?

Yes

No

Too early to say

One of the best

What do you think is the main reason behind Alexander Zverev's recurring injuries?

Overtraining

Bad luck

Poor medical advice

Inadequate recovery time

Do you think Daniil Medvedev can match John McEnroe's iconic status?

Absolutely

No way

Only time will tell

He's already there

Who do you think will dominate the Lulu Sun vs. Donna Vekic match at Wimbledon?

Lulu Sun

Donna Vekic

Too close to call

Neither, it will be a draw

Lulu Sun was born to a Croatian father and a Chinese mother in New Zealand. However, she moved to Switzerland at the age of five and learned to play the sport over there. Although she holds a passport from both New Zealand and Switzerland, she is playing at Wimbledon under the flag of New Zealand. She lives in Geneva but often visits the ‘Land of Kiwis’ to meet her grandmother. From living in a small town where there were “more sheep and deer than people” to representing the nation globally. It has been a remarkable journey for Lulu Sun! What was the actual reason for her choosing New Zealand over Switzerland?

Lulu Sun’s “heartfelt tribute” to her birth country

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Sun qualified for the ASB Classic in Auckland earlier this year. Her incredible performance over there forced the tennis officials from New Zealand to request her to switch nationalities. After that, in March this year, she finally took her decision to represent New Zealand on the map of the tennis world. Lulu Sun believes this decision was “truly pivotal in her career” and also a “heartfelt tribute” to her birth country.

There is a high possibility of her landing between 42 and 55 in the women’s singles ranking after Wimbledon. This means the op-ranked New Zealand player will get a direct acceptance to the next Grand Slam events. Speaking more on her decision to represent New Zealand, Lulu Sun added, “Throughout the years, my deep bond with New Zealand has remained, and many of my favorite memories have involved spending time amidst the natural wonders of New Zealand with my extended family.” She was also recently picked to represent the nation in doubles at the Paris Olympics along with Grand Slam winner Erin Routliffe. Do you think Sun can shine brightly at the QF as well?