Emma Raducanu sparks injury fears after halting practice session

A fully focused Emma Raducanu US Open

Emma Raducanu sparked injury fears on the eve of the defence of her US Open title.

The British number one twice stopped her practice session with Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova at Flushing Meadows on Friday and was in tears on the court.

Raducanu had her right wrist taped and appeared in discomfort before calling a temporary halt to the session, her first at the US Open venue this year, after little more than half an hour.

The 19-year-old seemed to be feeling something in her wrist and was consoled by coach Dmitry Tursunov before walking to the side of the court in tears.

After composing herself, Raducanu returned to the court and continued to pound forehands but shortly afterwards the session again stopped and the 11th seed headed off court with physio Will Herbert for approximately 15 minutes.

There was no further cause for alarm, with Raducanu completing the two-hour session, serving and playing points.

She was due to face the media later on Friday ahead of a first-round clash with France’s Alize Cornet on Tuesday.

In Mason, Raducanu admitted that she was struggling to build momentum.

When asked if her run in Ohio helped her tournament fitness, Raducanu said: “I think it does, because, you know, to play back-to-back days between the first and second, it was pretty quick turnover. I think that it’s difficult as well to stay like mentally focused, as well, to keep mentally just going back out there and backing the performances up.

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“I think that’s something, to be honest, I don’t think I have experienced much of, because I haven’t had many consistent weeks of a lot of matches in a row. It was great to get three matches this week, and in D.C., as well.

“I think that I am getting there. Today against Jessica, like, we had some really, you know, long rallies. Her groundstrokes are really good. For me, I think it was like staying low for that long and doing it over and over again and having to work like so hard for every point and just being able to kind of repeat that point after point, it was pretty difficult.”

She had also explained her more aggressive game, which gave her impressive wins at Cincy.

“I kind of just got tired of like pushing the ball around and having people hit the ball and they’d run me around.

“I was just, like, Look, I have tried that for pretty much a year. I’m just to like do something. If I’m going to lose, I’m probably going to lose anyway pushing the ball around at this level. It just doesn’t work. I’m just going to do it and, yeah, give this tournament a swing. And it worked.

“I think that it is definitely like relieving, because I feel like I’m swinging with the same sort of freedom as I probably had, like, more similar to last year.

“So it feels really good. I think that I can really take it as a positive week, and I actually feel like I’m heading in a good direction again.”