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Emma Raducanu waits on Australian Open fitness update after latest setback | Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu is heading to Melbourne but faces a nervous wait to see if she will be healthy enough to compete at the Australian Open after suffering a sprained ankle in her first tournament of the year.

On Thursday, Raducanu rolled her ankle at the beginning of the third set in her ASB Classic second-round match against Viktoria Kuzmova in Auckland. After receiving medical treatment, the 20-year-old played one point before retiring in tears. Afterwards, Raducanu criticised the “slick” indoor courts they had been forced to compete on due to rain.

She will now go straight to Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open, the first grand slam tournament of the year, but is still awaiting conclusive test results on the severity of her ankle sprain.

Raducanu and her team are hoping that she will be diagnosed with a grade 1 sprain, which would at least give her a chance of being ready to compete at the Australian Open, which begins on 16 January. If her ankle injury is more severe, however, her chances of competing in Melbourne would be remote.

A year ago, Raducanu’s off-season was disrupted after testing positive for Covid-19 and then she suffered from blisters in her Australian Open second round loss to Danka Kovinic.

Those opening weeks set the tone for a season filled with injury and health issues, ending with her withdrawal from the Billie Jean King Cup finals in Glasgow, and further complicating the task of following up her 2021 US Open victory.

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Raducanu has enjoyed what she described as a positive off-season in 2022 with her new trial coach Sebastian Sachs and had hoped that her body would be more adjusted to the rigors of tennis in her second full season. This time, rather than any physical weakness, her progress has been halted by the bitter misfortune of a…


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