Exclusive: Rumours over Emma Raducanu’s Wimbledon withdrawal as John Lloyd gives his verdict

Emma Raducanu in action

Rumours are swirling over Emma Raducanu’s hopes of playing at Wimbledon, amid suggestions that her side strain may force her to withdraw from her home Grand Slam.

US Open champion Raducanu has not played since withdrawing from the Rothesay Open Nottingham with the injury that continues to trouble her ahead of the start of Wimbledon on Monday.

Raducanu withdrew from her planned practice session at Wimbledon on Friday, sparking a frenzy of rumours that the teenager may be forced to pull out of the tournament.

That decision is likely to come on Saturday, with Raducanu set to face the media for her pre-tournament press conference at 4.30pm UK time.

Expectations are inevitably inflated around Raducanu on home soil, but former British No.1 John Lloyd has told Tennis365 that the home hope is unlikely to shine at the All England Club this year.

Speaking at an event to promote his new book Dear John, Lloyd told us that Raducanu may not be ready physically to shine on the biggest stage once again this summer.

“Let’s presume she is going to play and if she does what she does last year and gets to the last-16, that would be a big bonus,” Lloyd told us.

“Anything after that would be a magnificent feat and I personally don’t think it’s going to happen. If it does, that would be great, but I don’t think she is in a position right now to have a big run at Wimbledon.

“She had a Rocky-style entrance to the tennis world and all of a sudden she is a mega star. It’s a big jump for her.

“I think she has reacted pretty well overall. People thought she could keep winning, but that wasn’t realistic. Her body is not accustomed to the brutality of the tour and she is playing catch-up.

“I’m not a big fan of the roundabout of coaching she has gone through, but I don’t think she is a one-Slam wonder. I think she will win more, but it will take her time to sort it out and learn the ropes a little bit more.”

Lloyd went on to suggest the Raducanu story is a fantasy that is hard to believe, as he admitted he was forced to eat his own words when the Brit won the US Open.

“There have been a couple of tennis films down the years with Wimbledon and in my day they did one called Players, that I was in briefly,” he added.

“Both films were Rocky style stories where one got to the Wimbledon final and the other one won the finals at Wimbledon.

“I saw the script for Wimbledon, I said it was unrealistic nonsense. Let’s build a tennis movie around character rather than this fantasy.

“Then she goes and wins the US Open. It’s staggering what she achieved.”

David Lloyd
David Lloyd’s new autobiography