Emma Raducanu urged to ’embrace the suckiness’ of rehab – ‘It’s really tough mentally’

Emma Raducanu in action

Jessica Pegula knows a thing or two about spending lengthy periods on the sidelines due to injury and Emma Raducanu could take a leaf out of the American’s book when it comes to bouncing back after surgery.

Having made her initial breakthrough during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, Pegula suffered multiple injuries that required surgery – including on her knee and hip – and as a result she was forced her to several months of action – sometimes even years – and it initially stunted her progress.

Back in 2021 she admitted that “I didn’t even know if I wanted to come back” when she was battling the injuries and spending time in rehab.

Instead of giving up, Pegula kept plugging away and gradually made her way up the rankings, winning her first title in 2019 and becoming one of the most consistent players on the WTA Tour.

Raducanu is also set for an extended period on the sidelines as the 2021 US Open has undergone surgery on her wrists as well as her left ankle following a frustrating year on the Tour.

The Brit is set to miss both the French Open and Wimbledon, but is hoping to return during the North American hard-court season in July-August. However, she might have to play several qualifying tournaments or drop down to the WTA 125K events as she has slipped out of the top 100 in the WTA Rankings and will likely to continue that slide over the next few months due to her injury-enforced absence.

Now 29 and ranked No 3 in the world, Pegula feels the 20-year-old Raducanu should “embrace” the battle and accept that she will have to “grind this out”.

“I would say definitely for me it was a time I definitely learned a lot about myself. If you want to keep playing, how hard do you want to come back, stuff like that,” she said.

“Also spending days in rehab for months on end, which she’s going to have a lot of, it’s really tough mentally. I think you just have to kind of embrace the suckiness of it because it’s not fun. Anyone that tries to tell you it’s fun, it’s not.

“You just have to kind of embrace the aspect of I’m going to grind this out. It’s not going to be the most fun, but I have to find ways to get through it and appreciate that I’m able to go through this rehab and find other ways to get better.”

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