This Wimbledon fortnight, Emma Raducanu continues to insist, brings her no great expectations.

“I’d be over the moon if I won my first round here,” she told reporters on Day 1 after doing just that. “And I really am. I feel just the joy to be on-site, the joy to be part of the buzz. Results-wise I have no expectations. I just have expectations of myself to really put myself on the line on the court and fight and not let any frustrations get to me.”

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After Wednesday’s emphatic 6-1, 6-2 victory over Elise Mertens, Raducanu may have to adjust that approach -- or perhaps not. That low-key vibe might be the very reason she suddenly finds herself in the third round. One thing is certain: It will be difficult to temper those expectations among tennis afficionados of this island nation.

The last time Raducanu reached the third round of a Grand Slam singles tournament? The 2021 US Open, which she won as a teenager.

To understand the desperate search for Wimbledon success in the tennis-aware United Kingdom, you have to know the history. While Great Britain women won the first 21 Wimbledon titles, that was because that was the exclusive nationality of all the entrants. After the Open Era arrived in 1968, only two British women lifted the title -- Ann Jones in 1969 and Virginia Wade in 1977.

That was 47 years ago.

When Andy Murray, born in Glasgow, Scotland, won Wimbledon in 2013, that ended a 77-year drought for British men; Fred Perry was the 1936 winner. After Murray won a second Wimbledon title in 2016, they knighted him at Buckingham Palace.

Side note: Murray and Raducanu have signed up to play mixed doubles here at the All England Club -- a prospect that already has patrons salivating.

How long did it take Raducanu to accept?

“Literally like 10 seconds, I was like, `Yeah,’ ” she explained. “I think some things are bigger than just tennis. I think some things are a once-in-a-lifetime memory that you’re going to have for the rest of your life. To play at Wimbledon with Andy Murray, those things don't come by.

“At the end of my life, at the end of my career when I'm like 70 years old, I know I’m going to have that memory of playing Wimbledon with Andy Murray on a home slam. For me, yeah, it was an honor to be asked.”

A respectable five of the seven women from Great Britain advanced to the second round here, one of them qualifier Sonay Kartal, another, wild card Lily Miyazaki. The group was led by the three highest-ranked women in the country, No.29 Katie Boulter, No.100 Harriet Dart and No.135 Raducanu. Boulter and Dart play each other on Thursday.

But only Raducanu has won a Grand Slam singles title. Kartal, ranked No.298, was the first into the third round and Raducanu, currently ranked No.135, was the second.

Born 21 years ago in Toronto, Canada, Raducanu moved with her family to England when she was two years old. Since she won that US Open as a teenager, she has been the object of intense scrutiny – not the least from London’s notorious tabloids. She was the first British woman to win a major singles title since Wade, which ignited fervent hopes that have yet to be realized here at Wimbledon.

Since that crowning win in New York, Raducanu has struggled physically. She missed The Championships last year recovering from surgeries on her ankle and wrists and withdrew from this year’s French Open to concentrate on the brief grass season. Raducanu played well, advancing to the semifinals in Nottingham and the quarterfinals in Eastbourne, where she notched her first Top 10 win, over Jessica Pegula.

She’s now a stirring 6-2 for the season on grass.

Raducanu saves match point to upset Pegula for first Top 10 win

This is only Raducanu’s third appearance at Wimbledon. As a teenager, she reached the Round of 16, but since then had only one win, in 2022, coming into this fortnight.

Now she's coming into her own. With all eyes on her return to Centre Court, Raducanu scored a 7-6(0), 6-3 first-round victory over lucky loser Renata Zarazua, a last-minute replacement for No.22 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova (illness).

“Nothing really compares to playing on Centre Court,” Raducanu said afterward. “I think it’s a lot of emotions and nerves go with that, but also a lot of support. I think that in some crucial moments today, it was really beneficial and really helpful to have a lot of people, yeah, cheering for me, rooting for me. When I made the last dropshot in the last game, I really felt the crowd erupt. Yeah, that feeling, I definitely missed that last year.”

The match against Mertens was on No.1 Court, Wimbledon’s second-largest venue, played under a closed roof. The two had never met in a Hologic WTA Tour match.

The first set was over in a flash. Raducanu saved both break-point opportunities by Mertens, the No.33-ranked player among Hologic WTA Tour players. At the same time, she broke Mertens’ serve twice, taking advantage of 12 unforced errors by the 28-year-old Belgian.

Raducanu crafted another break in the third game of the second set and repeated the feat in the fifth.

The final result could be seen in the bottom-line numbers of winners versus unforced errors -- Raducanu was plus-eight and Mertens was minus-seven.

She is only the fourth British woman to reach the third round since the turn of the century, joining Boulter, Johanna Konta and Heather Watson.

Next up is No.9 Maria Sakkari, a 7-5, 6-3 winner over unseeded Arantxa Rus. Raducanu won her only previous match against Sakkari -- in the semifinals on the way to the 2021 title in New York.

“Circumstances are different,” Raducanu said. “Like, in a third round compared to a semifinal. At the time the dynamics were also different. I was an unknown player pretty much. I’m expecting a really tough match. She’s top in the world.

“Again, it’s going to be one where I’m the complete underdog and I can just enjoy playing in my home crowd, home slam, yeah, just keep having fun and trying to stay an extra day.”