Emma Raducanu gives major fitness update ahead of Australian Open
Emma Raducanu has declared herself fit and ready for the Australian Open, after an injury scare left her in doubt for the first major of 2023.
Raducanu rolled her ankle in her second round match, against Viktoria Kuzmova, in Auckland nine days ago, and left the court in tears leaving fans questioning whether she would be able to take to the court in Melbourne.
However, in her pre-tournament press conference Raducanu confirmed that she is feeling good and ready to go before playing her first round match on Monday.
“In the match, obviously, at the time, you’re a bit worried about it. When you just go over, you don’t really know what’s going on,” Raducanu said.
“But we’ve been working very hard. It’s been a team effort to get me to this place. We’ve definitely expedited the process but I’m feeling really good and looking forward to getting out on the court. It’s just a huge, huge props to my team, really here and back home, who have helped get me to this place.”
The British No.1 was seen on court earlier in the week doing limited training, but has moderately upped the physicality of her on-court activities as the week has gone on.
Finished the session with serving, doing all she could to avoid placing weight through the left ankle. pic.twitter.com/7a5fuYllf9
— Todd Scoullar (@ToddScoullar) January 9, 2023
“I started practising midweek and we’ve been building it up pretty gradually. But I think that I’ve not really played much tennis ever in my career so I’m kind of used to it. And I’m not stressed about a lack of tennis that much.”
The 2021 US Open champion focussed on improving her fitness over the off-season, after injuries led to four retirements last year, and made it clear that the setback in Auckland would not undo the work that she had done.
“I think that I was feeling in a really good place mentally,” she said. “In my tennis I was like, ‘yeah, this is going well’. I think I was a bit shocked initially but then it didn’t take anything away from how I’m feeling about the season.”
She added, “And I feel really, really good actually. I just can’t wait to get out there on the court this year. I think that I’m setting things up really nicely with the way my team is looking at the moment. And I’m just buzzing to start and get going.”
The No.75 ranked player in the world will play Tamara Korpatsch, who is ranked one place above her, in the first round of the Australian Open. Raducanu beat Korpatsch in their only previous meeting, on the indoor clay in Stuttgart last year, and will look to repeat that on the hard courts down under.
“She’s an awkward player, bit tricky,” said Raducanu, who reached the second round on her debut in Melbourne last year, “So it’ll be a good challenge to get used to her style and play. It’ll be a good test for me to see where I’m at.”
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