Wimbledon's hottest players ready to compete as Emma Raducanu makes return

WHEN Wimbledon begins tomorrow, millions will tune in – with many eager to see Emma Raducanu making a welcome return for the first time in two years.

But Emma isn’t the only young Brit competing at the All England Club.

Forty home-grown stars are playing across 11 events – and it is Katie Boulter and Jack Draper who are our biggest hopes for glory.

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Emma Raducanu is making her Wimbledon return after mising last year’s tournamentCredit: instagram/Emma Raducanu

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Emma has overcome a battle with injuries and is ready to show what she is capable ofCredit: Getty

Former tournament double-winner Andy Murray, 37, has battled injury, but is also scheduled to play in what is expected to be his final Championships.

Here, Emma Pryer looks at the sexiest British stars with world-class abilities set for thrilling showdowns in SW19.

Emma Raducanu, 21

British No 5, World No 168

THE starlet, who dazzled in 2021 by winning the US Open as an unseeded 18-year-old qualifier, then rose to world No 10 the next year.

She has since struggled with her form and fitness and dropped down the rankings.

But Emma, from Bromley, Kent, has now battled back from wrist and ankle operations, which led to her missing last year’s tournament, and has put together a string of promising results.

She already has an MBE to her name as well as 2.4million Instagram followers, and models for everyone from Christian Dior to Porsche.

And she has been a poster girl for Wimbledon sponsor Evian, alongside Dua Lipa.

Emma is newly single, having split from American billionaire financier Robert Agostinelli’s son Carlo, 23, after a love match that went on for nearly a year.

Emma Raducanu Splits with Billionaire Boyfriend

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Katie Boulter could be Britain’s best hope of success in the women’s drawCredit: Instagram/katieboulter

Katie Boulter, 27

British No 1, World No 32

OUR leading lady at Wimbledon is so tennis-mad, she even eats tennis ball-sized food portions.

Leicester-born Katie reveals: “My nutritionist describes everything I eat in terms of tennis balls.

“The salmon is two tennis ball-sized portions and for rice it’s one ball’s worth of carbs.”

She also enjoys cheering on Leicester City, as well as her tennis star boyfriend, Australian world No 9 Alex de Minaur, 25.

She drives an electric car and models for brands such as Nike and Vogue.

One of her biggest supporters is her grandad Brian, who will no doubt have high hopes for her as she returns for her tenth Wimbledon.

Jack Draper, 22

British No 1, World No 29

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Jack Draper is Britain’s new men’s number one and hopes to ­emulate Andy MurrayCredit: instagram/jackdraper

CHISELLED pin-up boy Jack recently displaced Cameron Norrie as our men’s No1 after storming to victory in the Stuttgart Open.

The huge-serving left-hander, finally realising his potential after a series of injuries, is now Britain’s big hope in the men’s draw at Wimbledon and will bid to ­emulate two-time champ Andy Murray, while Cameron has slipped to world No 44.

Off court, Jack, from Sutton in South London, has modelled for the likes of Vogue and Tatler.

Tennis is in his family. Mum Nicky is a former junior star who introduced Jack to tennis.

Dad Roger ran the sport’s governing body in the UK, the Lawn Tennis Association.

Joe Salisbury, 32

British doubles No 1, World doubles No 5

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Joe Salisbury won the US Open doubles title for a third time last yearCredit: Instagram/joesalisbury92

BRIGHT spark Joe studied economics at a US college and would have gone into finance if his tennis career had not taken off.

He made the right choice – achieving a doubles world No 1 ranking in 2022 before later slipping back.

He and his 40-year-old US doubles ­partner Rajeev Ram made history last year, winning their third straight US Open title.

But Wimbledon is his favourite tournament and Roger Federer his tennis idol.

Yet Smokin’ Joe, as he is nicknamed, is happiest living life under the radar.

Off court, he’s a golf, surfing and backgammon fan.

He grew up in Putney, South West London, and also follows football, supporting Fulham.

Harriet Dart, 27

British No 2, World No 104

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Harriet Dart hopes to bounce back at Wimbledon after a tough start to 2024Credit:

ARSENAL fan Harriet is trained by Andy Murray’s father-in-law, Nigel Sears – also a former coach of her pal Emma Raducanu.

Her ranking has slipped from world No 84 last summer but she goes into Wimbledon with high hopes.

Asics-sponsored Harriet, from Hampstead, in North West London, also models for wellness brands and was introduced to tennis by her parents at the local club where they met.

She had a rocky start to 2024, hospitalised in Thailand with food ­poisoning on her way to the Australian Open.

But she is now back up and firing, just in time for the big one.

Eden Silva, 28

British No 14, World No 167

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London born Eden Silva is bringing an extra touch of glamour to WimbledonCredit: Instagram/Eden Silva

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Eden started playing tennis when she was just three years oldCredit: INSTAGRAM @Eden Silva

AS well as being a belter on the tennis court, Eden models for a host of fashion and beauty brands after being spotted by scouts through her Instagram snaps.

Born in Hackney, East London, she is of Russian and Sri Lankan descent.

She started swinging a racket at her local club when she was only three years old – and quickly moved through the junior then senior ranks.

When not drilling ferocious forehands and backhands in top competitions, Eden, loves travelling, supports Tottenham Hotspur and enjoys time with her Brit tennis ace boyfriend Liam Broady.

Liam Broady, 30

British No 6, World No 146

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Liam Broady recently suffered an unfortunate injury but will be back for WimbledonCredit: Supplied

RIPPED Liam shows off a tattooed torso when on holiday or changing shirts during matches – he has inkings of a lion and mythical Greek warrior Achilles.

He’s also a Manchester City fan and often airs his views on X/Twitter. Liam and sister Naomi, a retired ­tennis pro turned commentator, grew up in Stockport.

Liam missed the recent Nottingham Open after hitting his head on a car boot and suffering concussion.

And he almost quit tennis in 2020, but a chat with Andy Murray helped kick-start a career that had failed to deliver since he made the final of Junior Wimbledon in 2011.

If not for tennis, he has revealed he fancied being a . . . zoo keeper.

Heather Watson, 32

British No 6, World No 50

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Heather Watson has thrilled Wimbledon fans in recent tournamentsCredit: Instagram/heatherwatson92

SHE is a longstanding darling of Wimbledon fans – having nine years ago served for the match in a final-set thriller against grand slam great Serena Williams.

Guernsey-born Heather, who trained at the same IMG Florida tennis ­academy as legends Andre Agassi and Maria Sharapova, may be past her very best but she has been enjoying a resurgence of form.

She dates Scots footballer Shaun Rooney, 27, who she affectionately calls “my wee Scotsman”.

As a kid she also showed huge promise as a swimmer.

But she says: “Winning Wimbledon is what I live for. ­Walking on to Centre Court is a feeling like no other.”

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