Emma Raducanu reveals when she will be back on court after her latest rankings slide

Emma Raducanu in action

Emma Raducanu’s slide down the WTA rankings is inevitable as she recovers from wrist surgeries, with her latest dip seeing her drop out of the top 250 on the WTA list.

The 110 ranking points from Raducanu’s run to the Korea Open semi-final last year will drop off her total next week and that will see the 2021 US Open champion down at around 275 when the updated rankings are released.

It is quite a fall from grace for a player who broke into the top ten after her remarkable win at the US Open two years ago, but the Raduvanu story has been troubled since that breakthrough moment.

Criticism that she was too focused on the commercial deals she signed after the victory at Flushing Meadows created a public perception that this sporting superstar had lost her desire for more success on court.

Yet those who have been following her progress as she has trained at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre in London over the last few weeks have suggested the 21-year-old has been building up her workload ahead of a return to court and now she has confirmed she is planning to return in 2024.

“Next season I’ll be back,” the 20-year-old told BBC London.

“This season all the slams were finished so it was difficult to watch them go by but I was trying to stay in my lane as much as possible and keep focused on my recovery.

“The fact they are still talking about me even though I’m not at these events is just a compliment. Someone told me ‘worry when they are not talking about you’.”

Former British No 1 Laura Robson has backed Raducanu to shine on her return, as she believes she will make a rapid rise back up the WTA rankings.

“We know she has got the game to do it. She has the ball striking ability, she is a great mover and a great all-round player and she competes,” Robson told Tennis365 at a Play Your Way To Wimbledon event.

“All you can do is stay as healthy as possible and try to play as many matches as possible to see where you go.

READ MORE: Former Wimbledon champion on Emma Raducanu and a big problem for women’s tennis

“I wouldn’t want to put a date on it or put pressure on her to return at a certain point,” she added.

“As anyone who has had a long-term injury knows, you have a goal in your mind and it is always adjusting.

“You might think you are going to be ready to play at a certain date and you pick up a little niggle somewhere else in your body as you have been doing months and months of compensating.

“She can’t play a lot of tennis at the moment, but it’s a huge step forward and she seems so happy to be back on court, which is lovely to see.

“I’m sure she is gunning to get back out there because having to watch all the tournaments on TV is the hardest part.”

The positive words from Robson will count for little when Raducanu gets back on court and suggestions that she may be aiming for a comeback over the next few weeks as the tennis world moves to Japan and China were wide of the mark.

Raducanu has been in China in recent days working on a sponsorship commitment and she also offered up these comments.

“I’m in Shenyang, my mom’s hometown, to visit most of my family, and re-immerse myself in the culture,” she told Porsche newsroom.

“We especially pride ourselves with the food in Shenyang. It is one of the best and is something that I have grown up with and love.

“I really love it here in China. I would spend three weeks here every summer since before I can remember and to be back here feels so comforting.”

There was no mention of Raducanu’s potential comeback to the game in her latest comments and with the weeks running out in the 2023 season, a comeback next year now seems more likely.

The good news for Raducanu is her sinking ranking should not affect her hopes of getting into tournaments when she comes back and with very few ranking points to defend, a rise up the WTA rankings should be possible if she can stay healthy.

The doubters are out in force when Raducanu’s name is mentioned and her comeback will be a story to follow on the WTA Tour when it gets underway.