Emma Raducanu issues positive injury update as clay court ambitions are ignited

Kevin Palmer
Emma Raducanu in action
Emma Raducanu of Great Britain looks on during her tennis match

Emma Raducanu appears to have shaken off the back problem that forced her to pull out of the Miami Open as she is already preparing to make her return to action.

Raducanu disappointed her fans when she announced her withdrawal from the WTA 1000 event in Miami, as she was unable to make use of the wild card she was given for the tournament in Florida.

The initial word emerging from her camp suggested the injury was not serious and that seems to be the case, with Raducanu confirming as much as she has practising on the indoor clay courts at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre in London in recent days.

Raducanu is set to play for Great Britain in their Billie Jean King Cup tie against France next month and is then due to play in the WTA 500 tournament in Stuttgart, where she will be up against a star-studded field.

World No.1 Iga Swiatek, the two-time defending champion, tops the initial entry list, which includes 14 of the current top 20 players.

World No 2 Aryna Sabalenka, No 3 Coco Gauff, No 4 Elena Rybakina and No 5 Jessica Pegula are all set top play at the indoor clay court event, with Raducanu highly likely to face a very challenging draw as she will be unseeded.

‟We’ll again be presenting our loyal spectators in the Porsche Arena with the world’s top players,” said Tournament Director Markus Günthardt. “It’s our goal.”

Some critics have suggested Raducanu is taking on too big a task by entering these high-level events, even though her ranking is set to fall to No 299 on Monday.

READ MORE: Emma Raducanu set for another rankings fall – but the only way is up now

Her status as a Grand Slam champion and a big star will ensure she continues to get invites into top tier tournaments, but it makes her task of winning matches tough.

There have been suggestions that the 21-year-old could drop down to lower tier events to get match wins and confidence, but former British No 1 and Sky Sports Tennis expert Laura Robson has backed her approach as she comes back from missing most of 2023 due to wrist and ankle surgery.

“She played very well in some of the matches she had this year and she clearly feels her level is good enough to challenge at these tournaments, so why not go for them?” Robson told Tennis365.

“If it doesn’t go well, then you can go back to the drawing board and maybe enter a few lower tournaments.

“If the opportunities are there to pick up very big points without too many match wins without winning too many matches, you have to take them.

“The way the points work, you could win two WTA 250 tournaments or have a run at a WTA 1000 event and you basically get the same number of points for your ranking. If I were here, I’d be playing the same tournaments.

“She is competing really well and ever in the matches she has lost, she has been right in them,” added Robson.

“The fact that she has been playing more aggressively and getting closer to the baseline is great to see. She is playing a brand of tennis close to what we saw when she won the US Open and she just needs time on court and consistency to get her to that level.

“Emma has used this re-start as an opportunity to just start again and it has been really good to see.”

Here are the entries as they currently stand for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart:

Iga Swiatek
Aryna Sabalenka
Coco Gauff
Elena Rybakina
Jessica Pegula
Ons Jabeur
Zheng Qinwen
Marketa Vondrousova
Jelena Ostapenko
Jasmine Paolini
Liudmila Samsonova
Ekaterina Alexandrova
Veronika Kudermetova
Emma Navarro
Barbora Krejcikova
Sorana Cirstea