Emma Raducanu - Indian Wells 2024

Emma Raducanu claims the Olympic Games are ‘not worth the risk’ this year

Emma Raducanu has revealed why she decided to turn down playing at the Paris Olympics this year, with the Brit ‘hoping to be part of the next one’.

Raducanu had been offered one of the two wildcards for former Grand Slam champions/Olympic gold medallists, but it was confirmed by British Olympic team leader Iain Bates that she had turned it down.

“[Raducanu] feels that this isn’t going to be the right timing for her for this summer,” said Bates. “I think a lot of that is obviously in the late notice of the spot. I think there’s the bit around the surface change between grass and clay and hard, and everyone’s aware of her history and the double wrist surgery from last year.”

This is something that was followed up by Raducanu, who played down any suggestions that she didn’t want to represent her country.

“I love playing for my country, I think that was pretty clear at Billie Jean Cup, I really fought, and I enjoyed it so much, but the Olympics is just not the right time for me this year,” explained the 21-year-old.

“I really hope to be a part of the next one but I guess with the change in surface, it’s just not worth the risk for me at this point having recovered from the surgeries last year but I do wish the team good luck.”

The 2021 US Open winner added, “So not in a diva way, [I’m] just prioritising my body and my health because I know if I’m fit, I know if I’m giving my 100%, I know great things are happening and coming.”

Raducanu underwent surgeries to both wrists and her left ankle last year, and has been precautious about surface changes before, having withdrawn from Roland Garros last month.

The now ranked world No.165 began her grass court season last week in Nottingham, reaching the semi-finals before losing in a tight-fought contest to compatriot and eventual champion Katie Boulter, who is coincidentally the only British women to be playing singles at the Paris Olympics.

For Raducanu, she now has a week away from the matchcourt before playing at the WTA 500 event in Eastbourne, the week prior to Wimbledon.

Inside the baseline…

On the surface, many will be asking why Emma Raducanu would want to miss such an iconic sporting event like the Olympic Games. However, the Brit’s reasoning is very understandable and she should have plenty of time to compete at Games in the future – with Los Angeles 2028 the next target. Overall though it has been a positive week for Raducanu, only just losing out to current British No.1 Katie Boulter in a great semi-final match in Nottingham.

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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.