Revealed: Emma Raducanu’s alarming lack of matches over the last six months
Emma Raducanu is preparing to play on the WTA Tour next week and her appearance will boost the alarmingly low number of matches played by the British star over the last six months.
The 20-year-old has struggled with injuries and a loss of form since her remarkable US Open win in 2021, which propelled her to instant international stardom.
Since then, Raducanu has taken time to find her feet on the WTA Tour, with her efforts to push her career forward since her US Open defence ended in disappointment last September proving to be forlorn.
Niggling injuries have been at the root of Raducanu’s failure to play matches, with the statistics confirming she has only managed to get on court TEN times since retiring with injury in the semi-final of the Korean Open last last October.
She was beaten in the first round of an event in the Czech Republic in early October before ending her 2022 campaign early due to injury.
Raducanu then played one matche at the ABS Classic in New Zealand before retiring in her second round contest with another injury.
Then she was beaten by Coco Gauff in the second round of the Australian Open and admitted after that loss that she was not fully fit.
A run to the last-16 of the Indian Wells Masters event last month was her most encouraging set of results since her US Open win, before she went out in the first round of the Miami Open after losing to Canada’s Bianca Andreescu.
Again, he post match press conference was dominated by her comments suggesting the wrist injuries that have affected her ambitions remain a big problem and now we wait to see if Raducanu can get herself in shape to compete at next week’s Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart.
Raducanu declared herself unavailable to play for Great Britain in their Billie Jean King Cup match against France on home soil later this week, citing her need to rest after her injury problems.
That decision has been criticised after she accepted a wild card into the WTA 500 event in Stuttgart, in an event endorsed by one of her lucrative sponsors.
Raducanu will now aim to silence some of her doubters when she returns to action in Germany next week, with her sponsorship deals likely to come under threat unless she finds her form and fitness levels soon.
While she remains a big draw for sponsors thanks to her vast army of followers on social media, her ranking is 68 and it remains to be seen whether her big money backers like British Airways, Porsche, Vodafone and HSBC will continue to back a player who is not making any impression at the top end of the women’s game.
Despite the criticism around Raducanu, former British No 1 Laura Robson is backing her to come good, as she suggests there are few better than her in the game when she is on top form.
“Emma’s level is there for sure,” Robson told Eurosport.
“She hits the ball just as well as any of the top players on tour.
“But it’s just finding the right balance on the training side of things, on the match court and tournament schedule side of things to make it work for the body because everyone is different, everyone requires different amount of matches as well.
“I think if she’s just able to get another couple of consistent weeks under her belt, then the belief will come and you start to trust your body a bit more and you start to then not worry about some small injuries because it’s just part of being a tennis player.
“I can’t think of anyone on tour who ever feels 100% healthy all the time, so Emma’s just seeming to find that balance at the moment.
“She’s been on a practice court in the UK at Wimbledon and looks good, she looks really good.”
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