Emma Raducanu’s growing pains continue as she retires from clash against Bianca Andreescu

Emma Raducanu stretches her back

Emma Raducanu never looked comfortable during her Italian Open clash against Bianca Andreescu and it was no surprise when she threw in the towel and retired with a back problem.

In the battle of the US Open champions, it was 2019 Flushing Meadows winner Andreescu who dominated from start to finish as the 2021 champion Raducanu never got out of first gear and was also hampered by injury before retiring with the score 6-2, 2-1 in the Canadian’s favour.

The 19-year-old picked up the injury during her third-round defeat against Anhelina Kalinina at the Madrid Open and admitted in the build-up to the Rome tournament that she needs to manage her injury.

“I think it’s just coming from a lot of intensity and overload,” she said. “My back, I’m managing it. Like it’s fine. But it’s just trying to adapt again to the long matches, to the intensity.

“I think that all of the small sort of niggles I’m getting, they’re all related and connected to each other, when something is overcompensating perhaps. Yeah, we’ll see.”

The 10th seed struggled with her serve throughout the match on Tuesday and saved three break points in the opening game while Andreescu was comfortable on serve.

It was no surprise when the Canadian broke in game three as she pounced on anything short and then backed it up with a second break in game five.

Raducanu took medical timeout at the end of game seven, but once she returned Andreescu served it out.

The British No 1’s movement and performance didn’t improve in the second set and after Andreescu broke in game three again, she decided to call it quits.

Andreescu will face Sara Sorribes Tormo for a place in the third round after the Spaniard advanced when her compatriot Nuria Parrizas Diaz, who replaced Naomi Osaka in the main draw after the four-time champion withdrew due to injury, retired with the score 6-2, 4-3.