Emma Raducanu - Australian Open 2024

Emma Raducanu ‘can’t say’ whether she will represent Great Britain at Billie Jean King Cup

Emma Raducanu has admitted that she cannot commit to playing Great Britain’s Billie Jean King (BJK) Cup tie against France in April, suggesting that her schedule and fitness ‘have to take priority’ this year. 

Raducanu reached the second round of the Australian Open this week, before being beaten by Yafan Wang in a match where she battled sickness.

The 21-year-old was asked after the match about whether she was planning to be part of Great Britain’s squad for their BJK Cup qualifier against France in April.

And the former British No.1 revealed that it would be very surface dependant, “Of course I always love representing my country but, that being said, because of the amount of niggles and the rehab process, I think whatever suits my schedule and my fitness the best is going to have to take priority, especially this year.

“For example, if there’s a change in surface straightaway, too close in succession, I think I’d have to evaluate what I do. The most sensible thing for me is staying healthy. That’s the priority for the year. I can’t say either way. But my intention is good, I want to play.”

It seems that Raducanu is unlikely to want to play the tie against France if it is played on clay, but confirmed that she is open to playing lower tour events.

“I really believe that the difference in level between the quote ‘lower-level tournaments’ and these tournaments is not that big,” claimed Raducanu. “Because you gain so many skills, you’re playing in these conditions. The wind here was a prime example.

“My opponent [Wang] played a lot of ITF and got a lot of matches under her belt, but the level really isn’t that different. So yeah, I would play whatever suits my schedule, whatever suits the plan.”

Raducanu is next scheduled to compete in Abu Dhabi, after receiving a wildcard for the WTA 500 tournament that begins on Monday 5th February.

Inside the baseline…

It is understandable that Emma Raducanu is being cautious about switching surfaces back-and-forth, after spending eight months on the sidelines last year following three different surgeries. That being said, Raducanu may then have to sacrifice competing in her first Olympics, as you need to represent your country at least twice in the current cycle to be eligible – although there are some loopholes that are potentially available for Grand Slam champions.

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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.