Emma Raducanu - Miami Open 2023

Emma Raducanu can still ‘do brilliant things’ claims former British No.1

Emma Raducanu has been reassured by former British No.1 Johanna Konta, who believes that the Brit can still achieve great things despite undergoing surgery at a young age.

Raducanu revealed last week that she would have to have three minor procedures, on both of her hands and her ankle, after struggling with her fitness since winning the US Open in 2021.

Konta, who retired at the end of 2021, spoke of how she believed this surgery had probably been in the pipeline for some time, “Overall, I can imagine that this surgery wasn’t a surprise for Emma.”

“She’s probably had enough time to work up her feelings and go through everything in her head so now it’s going to be the big recovery process. I don’t think it would have been a shock to her which is why she seems in decent spirits.”

Despite Raducanu only being 20-years-old, Konta has alluded to other sports people having success after having surgery early on in their career.

“I don’t think her age is a worry. Because she is 20, she’s got a long time because she’s at the early stages of her career. She’s going to have enough time to keep building up her body, keep building up her strength,” explained Konta.

“Obviously, you don’t want to be young and having surgery. However, there have been a lot of athletes throughout history that have had surgery young and they still come back stronger, come back better and do brilliant things in the sport.”

The former No.4 added, “It is a hurdle, but one that she is well equipped to overcome and she has time on her side.”

While Raducanu’s social media statement revealed that she would be out of action for the ‘next few months’, there was no specific comeback date for when she may return.

Konta has suggested that the US Open, which is the tournament where Raducanu became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam, could be the target for the current British No.1.

“I think she will want to get back on court as soon as she can and if she can come back for the US Open, she will,” said Konta. “Whether her body will allow that and whether her rehab course will allow that, I think that will remain to be seen.”

Konta continued, “I think as a player you want to come back as soon as possible. You want to put in the work to be able to be back on tour, playing tournaments. That’s where you want to be so I don’t think she will be taking any extra time out just for the sake of it.”

“Emma has come very quickly out of the starting blocks with the US Open and everything so I think she needs that time to be able to build her body up. For me I think it was just about staying present about really looking after my body the best I could and listening to the people around me.”

There has been a lot of discussion surrounding the number of coach changes that Raducanu has had since her maiden Grand Slam win, and Konta revealed that the key for her was to have people around her that she ‘trusts’.

“I was really fortunate because I had good people around me and I really put a lot of trust in them. It’s also about management because you have to manage your body. Every athlete on tour is carrying something but obviously not everyone is getting surgery for it but your body is going to be a continuous management process throughout your whole career,” said Konta.

Despite suggesting the US Open should be an aim for Raducanu to return, Konta warned her not to ‘rush the recovery process’.

“It’s definitely going to be a process. I think her team are going to be managing her load and seeing how much load she is going to take. This spot now is going to be a nice time to start again and now it will be about not loading her too quickly. If you rush the recovery process with anything nine times out of 10 it doesn’t end well.”

Emma Raducanu best results since US Open triumph

Raducanu is yet to recreate her ‘fairytale in New York’, but there have been some flashes of the tennis that saw the No.103 win 10 consecutive matches without dropping a set.

Here are three of the tournaments that we at Tennishead, believe she has shown her most US Open like performances:

Cincinnati 2022

While Raducanu only won two matches in this tournament, the Brit beat two former Grand Slam champions in Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka while only dropping six games in the process.

The British No.1 was knocked out in the next round by seventh seed Jessica Pegula, in a tight straight sets defeat.

Seoul 2022

Following a disappointing defence of her US Open title, Raducanu opted to play some WTA 250 events and in the process reached her first and only semi-final since her Grand Slam win.

Raducanu beat Moyuka Uchijima, Yanina Wickmayer and Magda Linette, before retiring in her semi-final to Jelena Ostapenko with injury.

Indian Wells 2023

Although 2023 has been a very disrupted season for Raducanu, she has picked up her highest ranked win since the US Open at Indian Wells.

The Brit’s participation at the event was up in the air until her first match against Danka Kovinic, as she had been struggling with illness and the ongoing wrist injuries, but she ended up taking to the court four times in the desert.

Raducanu beat Kovinic, followed by two wins over seeds Magda Linette and Beatriz Haddad Maia, before being beaten by the WTA No.1 Iga Swiatek.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.