Emma Raducanu - Indian Wells 2024

Emma Raducanu has been ‘missed’ claims current British No.1

Emma Raducanu is making her return to the Great Britain Billie Jean King (BJK) Cup team this weekend, and British No.1 Katie Boulter has revealed how ‘pleased’ she is.

Raducanu spent eight months on the injury sidelines last year, after undergoing surgeries to both wrists and her left ankle.

The 21-year-old returned to the WTA Tour at the Auckland Classic at the start of this year, with her most recent event coming at Indian Wells before withdrawing from the Miami Open with a minor back issue.

Now Raducanu is turning her attention to the clay courts, with Great Britain taking on France in their BJK Cup qualifier on the indoor clay of Le Portel.

It is Raducanu’s first BJK Cup participation since 2022, when she won her debut rubber against Tereza Martincova of Czech Republic.

And British No.1 Boulter has spoken about having the 2021 US Open champion back, “I’m very pleased. We’ve missed her. We love having her back.

“Obviously, the No. 1 thing is that she’s healthy. I’ve always said it for myself and it’s my biggest wish for her as well is that she can stay as healthy as possible. We’re going to be welcoming her with open arms, for sure.”

Raducanu is the lowest ranked player in the team as world No.302, alongside the aforementioned Boulter, Harriet Dart, Heather Watson and Fran Jones.

The top player in their opponents is world No.23 Caroline Garcia, who Boulter lost to in a tight three set match last year in the BJK Cup Qualifiers in Coventry.

Boulter has previewed the rematch against the French squad, claiming Great Britain have ‘a free swing’, “It’s a brutal match-up. We’ve already been in this place before and we had it at home. I think if anything it could help us, we are completely the underdogs. I think we’ve got a free swing.”

The 27-year-old continued, “Garcia is clearly playing some very good tennis right now. But it’s another Billie Jean King Cup tie, anything can happen.

“We’ve got to keep it very realistic, it’s everyone’s first week on clay. It’s not my favourite surface but I’m very excited to get on it. I think we will come together as a team and keep trying to push each other, and I’m sure we’ll play some really good tennis.”

Although Boulter is the top Brit in the squad, she has never actually played in a tour-level clay court match before.

Raducanu, Boulter and co will take on France in their BJK Cup Qualifier this Friday and Saturday, in a bid to reach the grand finals later in Seville later this year.

Inside the baseline…

This might be the perfect sort of week for Emma Raducanu, with their being less focus on her individual results and more on the performance of the team. Although Raducanu is the lowest ranked player, it would be a surprise if captain Anne Keothavong did not select her for at least one singles rubber. With it being on indoor clay, it is also great preparation for Raducanu as she is scheduled to compete at the WTA 500 event in Stuttgart next week.

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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.