“She’s hungry, very ambitious and she thinks big, which I love.”
It’s perhaps hardly surprising Emma Raducanu’s coach would speak so highly of his young charge.
“It’s her head really, her composure, she has great instinct, she’s not scared to take a risk, pull the trigger when she needs to,” Nigel Sears tells BBC Sport.
“I just think she’s very, very complete considering how little she’s played, how raw her experience is.”
Aged 18 and waiting for her A-Level results, Raducanu has cemented her position as a rising star in British tennis by reaching the last 16 at her debut Grand Slam.
Her victories over top-50 players Marketa Vondrousova and Sorana Cirstea – which Sears described as “stunning… a very special performance” – have shown she belongs on the major stage.
A wise and bright head on young shoulders – she took A-Levels in maths and economics – Raducanu has impressed both on and off court, her powerful backhand catching the eye on it, her eloquence and enthusiasm off it.
Sears notes how any discussion with her is two-way, unlike most players of her age who he says take but don’t give.
But she’s not getting too ahead of herself either. She has given her phone to her osteopath to avoid distractions, having gained tens of thousands of followers on social media, so she will play with no pressure when she faces Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic on Monday on Court One.
Oh, and she’ll play in clean whites, having found someone to do her laundry for her.
“Playing on Court One at Wimbledon, especially after the Covid situation, I think you just have to cherish every single moment you get and all the opportunities,” the British number 10 tells BBC Sport.
“If you’re not having fun here on Court One, then where are you going to have fun?”
Hungry, ambitious and ‘trying to be the smartest’
The day before her 6-3 7-5 win over Cirstea, Raducanu spent five minutes courtside on Court One, a “valuable” experience to allow her to get a feel for the place.
Five minutes certainly seemed to do the job as she looked thoroughly at home on the big stage – although perhaps bemused by thousands of people roaring her every point.
“Everyone has their weapons. I don’t feel like I’m the fastest, the strongest or hit the ball the hardest, so I think my one is that I try to play tactically, I try to be one of the smartest,” says Raducanu, whose ranking will now soar from 338th.
“I think my weapon is that I study the game; I try to figure out a way to win that way.
“I think for a player at my age it’s also very helpful in development, because when you’re older things become more intuitive and instinctive. So for me right now, I’m just learning the ropes.
“It’s a good attribute that I will keep going.”
Mandarin, Taiwanese TV and hitting with Muguruza
Born to a Romanian father and Chinese mother, Raducanu moved with her family from Canada to London when was two and her parents immersed her in a variety of sports, without putting pressure on her.
She attended the same school in Orpington as sprinter Dina Asher-Smith and says she would have become a lawyer if tennis hadn’t worked out. Raducanu says she is “quite capable” in Mandarin and loves nothing more than binge-watching Taiwanese TV programmes.
“She’s very grounded,” says Sears, Andy Murray’s father-in-law. “I hope she stays grounded.
“Her parents must take a lot of credit for that because that’s the way she handles herself, that’s the way she’s been brought up.”
That grounding helped keep her cool when offered the opportunity to hit with two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza, a winner at Wimbledon in 2017.
And she must have impressed the Spanish-Venezuelan, as she earned a return invitation.
“The first time I was like ‘wow, this is so intense’, it was so eye-opening that I was like ‘this is the level that I need to train at’,” says Raducanu.
“She was so, so precise with her footwork and her technique every time, so I think that’s definitely something that I learned from her.
“I don’t think I did too badly because I got a call-up the second time to hit again, so I was really pumped with that.”
Beat Tomljanovic, who defeated former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko on Saturday, in the last 16 and Raducanu is likely to face world number one Ashleigh Barty in the quarter-finals.
But whatever happens in Monday’s fourth-round match, Raducanu will leave SW19 with a smile. Hers is a name little known before this week, but it’s one we had better get used to seeing.
“I want to stay here for as long as possible, but long term, my dream is to win Wimbledon,” Raducanu says. “It’s such a special Grand Slam.
“This is my first year here and I’m just having such a blast.
“I’m at the beginning of my career and I have many more years to come.”