Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Raducanu happy with fitness, looking forward to grasscourt season

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Former U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu said she no longer has any doubts when she hits the ball after recovering from surgery on both wrists and an ankle, adding that she is “in a really fit place” as she begins the grasscourt season.

The 21-year-old, who was sidelined for eight months last year, competed in Stuttgart and Madrid during the clay swing but withdrew from the qualifying rounds for the French Open.

Raducanu had not been awarded a wildcard for the claycourt Grand Slam and said she withdrew to manage her workload and focus on her fitness.

The Briton said on Monday she now felt really strong and was excited to be back in action.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she told reporters ahead of her opening match at the Nottingham Open against Japan’s Ena Shibahara later on Tuesday.

“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Raducanu first grabbed the spotlight when she reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2021 and made her big breakthrough by winning the U.S. Open later that year.

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she said.

“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.

“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some ­physical work done.”

Wimbledon begins on July 1. REUTERS

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