Raducanu’s Resurgence: Injury-Free and Ready for Grass Court Season

Raducanu's Resurgence: Injury-Free and Ready for Grass Court Season

Emma Raducanu is feeling the fittest she has ever felt as she enters the grass court season, a year after doubting her future in tennis. The 2021 US Open champion underwent surgeries on both wrists and an ankle 12 months ago, raising concerns about her career. Now, she is set to begin her Wimbledon preparations at the Rothesay Open in Nottingham, relieved to be injury-free.

Reflecting on her journey, Raducanu said, “It’s easy to lose sight of where I was a year ago. I was on a mobility scooter with doubts about my future. Being healthy and here now is something I need to cherish.”

She described the surreal experience of being unable to use crutches due to her wrist surgeries, with her ankle also immobilized. “As someone who is so active, it’s difficult to just shut your body down,” Raducanu added.

Raducanu’s Return to Fitness

“I feel really healthy now. I feel really strong. 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 raised eyebrows when she withdrew from the French Open qualifiers last month, but she explained it was to ration the amount of tennis she plays to protect her body.

“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,” the 21-year-old player said.

“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put myself 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 prioritize where I wanted to target, and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done. I’d have loved more time on the grass, although it was raining pretty much every day, so we were on hard courts a lot of the time.”

Raducanu took time out last week to attend a Dior fashion event at Drummond Castle – the brand for which she became an ambassador following her grand slam title win three years ago – alongside Hollywood A-listers Jennifer Lawrence and Anya Taylor-Joy. It was grist to the mill of those who believe she has been more about style than substance, but she stressed the therapeutic benefits of the two-night trip to Perthshire.

Ons Jabeur’s Scenic Training and Support for Raducanu

“It was amazing just to have the change of scenery. I went for a run around Gleneagles and it was beautiful. I love greenery, I love nature so that’s where I really feel recharged,” said Ons Jabeur, the 2023 Wimbledon runner-up and top women’s seed in Nottingham.

Jabeur praised Emma Raducanu after their Sunday practice. “She is practising really well. I’ve seen her hitting big balls. I love how Emma plays, I love her personality and I honestly wish to see her succeed,” Jabeur said.

Raducanu faces Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara, world No. 274, on Tuesday in the first round. Jane O’Donoghue, the former LTA national coach for women, will be in her corner as her current coach, Nick Cavaday, is unwell. Raducanu hopes to reunite with Cavaday later in the week if she progresses.

“Nick’s a great coach and we’re still very much together, it’s just unfortunate he couldn’t make it,” Raducanu said.

Tennis Expert Andrew Huggard
reviewed by: Andrew Huggard (Tennis Expert)

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