Emma Raducanu provides positive update – ‘I’m not the finished product, far from it’

Shahida Jacobs
Emma Raducanu leaves the court
Emma Raducanu from Great Britain after her tennis match

Emma Raducanu returns to action at the Abu Dhabi Open on Monday and the former US Open champion believes now is the time to kick-start her career again.

The 2023 season was one to forget for Raducanu as she played only 10 matches and finished with a 5-5 record. Besides her poor form, the British youngster also struggled with injury and her season was cut short in April as she underwent surgery on both her wrists and her one ankle.

Raducanu 2.0, though, made her return at the beginning of this year and she won two of her four matches in the Antipodean, but she insists there is no rush in terms of regaining top form as it is all about incremental improvements.

“I’m still finding my feet on the match court, I’m not fully there but that will come with time,” she told The National. “I’m very patient and very grateful to enjoy what I’m doing.

“I’m just trying to improve my game because I’m not the finished product, far from it. I feel like now is the time to start because I’ve had some illness and injuries over the couple of years since [winning the US Open], so I’m looking forward to working on my game, improving my level and the results will take care of themselves.”

Despite already being a Grand Slam champion following her fairytale run at the 2021 US Open when she won the title as an 18-year-old qualifier, there is no doubt that Raducanu is far from the finished product.

The 20-year-old reached a career-high No 10 in the WTA Rankings in early 2022, but she currently finds herself down at No 296.

READ MORE: Former world No 5 makes Emma Raducanu ranking prediction and analyses her comeback

She can start her journey back up the rankings with a few wins in Abu Dhabi although her first match won’t be easy as she faces world No 36 Marie Bouzkova. If she does get past the Czech then she will take on second seed Ons Jabeur in the second round.

But for Raducanu it is all about taking baby steps in order to regain her best form.

“I’ve never really had the chance to do proper training weeks back-to-back. For six or seven months, before I ended up having the surgeries, I was only practising one or two hours a day just to limit the load on the wrists,” she said.

“In a way, it’s frustrating that the last couple of years haven’t been how I’ve wanted but I think we take a lesson from everything and now is the time to start that work, and I’m really enjoying it.”