Emma Raducanu made her first return to the court after rolling her ankle at the ASB Classic last week but appeared to be in ‘obvious discomfort’ during her hitting session. The Brit refused a request from coaches to stop as she wanted to get through her whole basket of balls however the 20-year-old’s participation in the Australian Open remains in doubt due to the injury suffered in New Zealand.
Raducanu had been hopeful of returning to winning ways after struggling throughout last year with consistent injury niggles failing to get beyond the second round of any of the Grand Slams. She had spent much of the off-season seeking to improve her fitness after falling to World No 75 as a result of her struggles.
However, her year got off to the worst possible start when she was forced to withdraw from her second-round match at the ASB Classic against Viktoria Kuzmova after turning her ankle. She now faces a race to be fit in time for the start of the first major tournament of the season which gets underway in Melbourne next week.
In a positive development, Raducanu has now returned to the court as she took part in a hitting session in Australia. Todd Scoullar reports that the former US Open winner appeared to be in ‘obvious discomfort’ as she took part in training but never asked to stop with the strapping on her ankle ‘insignificant’.
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“I am just taking it a day at a time and every single day just trying as best as possible to see and make progress. We’ll see. Hopefully by Monday or whenever the tournament starts I’ll be OK and ready. We’re just taking it a day at a time and not trying to expect too much at this point.”
It remains to be seen whether or not Raducanu will be able to take part in the Australian Open but fans will take heart from her return to the court.