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After making the news for her curt and short replies in the Mutua Madrid Open press interview, Emma Raducanu has withdrawn from the 1000 series tournament.
The former US Open champion was supposed to take the court against lucky loser Viktoriya Tomova. However, she pulled out of the match house before the match. Victory over the Belarusian would have allowed her to set up a showdown with world number 1 Iga Swiatek in the second round.
It is an unfortunate right-hand injury that has ruled Raducanu out of the Madrid Open.
“Emma Raducanu withdraws from the Mutua Madrid Open due to injury in her right hand. Get well soon!” the official tweet from Madrid Open read.
🇬🇧@EmmaRaducanu withdraws from the Mutua Madrid Open due to injury in her right hand.
— #MMOPEN (@MutuaMadridOpen) April 26, 2023
This was going to be a second meeting between Emma and Viktoriya, the Madrid Open lucky loser winning their first bout when the Brit was ranked 340. Tomova triumphed in the W25 Sunderland final and will hope a similar fate awaits her when she takes on Austrian Julia Grabher.
Injuries Continue to Malign Radacanu
This is the third serious injury that the British number 1 has suffered in 2023. The start of the current campaign saw her suffer an ankle injury in the Auckland Open. Raducanu could not finish her duel with Viktoria Hruncakova despite taking the first set 6-0. It hampered her progress in the Australian Open, where she was shut out by Coco Gauff.
The 20-year-old was forced to take a two-month break and impressed on her return to the WTA circuit at Indian Wells. Raducanu made it to the Round of 16 but could get past Swiatek. In the second leg of the Sunshine Double, Bianca Andreescu knocked her out of Miami Open.
It was revealed that she had a wrist injury that curtailed her performance against the Canadian. Raducanu took a month-long break to rehabilitate and prepare for the clay court rigours of the tour. She opted out of Team GB’s Billie Jean King fixtures against France but to focus on her red-surface adventures.
Her best-laid plans did not go accordingly, suffering a first-round defeat at the hands of Jelena Ostapenko in the Porshe Tennis Gran Prix after getting a wild card entry. The Latvian trounced the struggling Brit in straight sets without a fight a week ago. Her continued battles with injuries can be attributed to it.
Out of WTA 100 and Mental Battles
Failure to compete at Madrid Open will see Raducanu drop out of the WTA 100. She will lose 17 rankings places and land at 102 once the final curtain is drawn in the Spanish capital.
This could be a blow to the young star’s confidence, as her slide down the rankings continue after her US Open success. With three injuries already in 2023, it’s clear that Raducanu needs to focus on getting physically fit and avoiding further injuries.
Looking back at her 58-word interview, insights can be drawn about her state of mind.
Emma Raducanu, troll mode in Madrid. pic.twitter.com/CfCRl4fSyu
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) April 26, 2023
She has been under extra media scrutiny following her US Open triumph, a tall order for her age. A deteriorating form and injuries have made matters worse for her. Coupled together, it has not helped her case.
Like Naomi Osaka, she needs time away from the court. The young Japanese highlighted the stress of the competition and preferred her mental health over playing regularly. She also stopped giving post-match interviews and was fined as a result.
Osaka has taken an extended break from the game, and Raducanu needs to adopt a similar approach.
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