Emma Raducanu - US Open 2022

Emma Raducanu’s surgeries ‘could be a blessing in disguise’ claims former No.4

Emma Raducanu has been labelled a ‘phenomenal athlete’ by former British No.1 Tim Henman, who claims that having time away from the WTA tour could be a positive thing for the 2021 US Open champion.

Raducanu rose to stardom in the summer of 2021, having reached the fourth round at Wimbledon as a wildcard and became the first qualifier to win a major title at the US Open.

However, it has not been so plain-sailing for the 20-year-old since, who has been struggling with a variety of different injuries.

This has lead to Raducanu requiring surgeries on both of her wrists and left ankle, which she underwent back in May of this year.

The former No.10 has recently returned to the practice court and has recently been spotted practicing in her mother’s home city of Shenyang, China.

Four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Tim Henman has faith that Emma Raducanu will have built up her ‘physical resilience’ during this time away from the WTA tour.

“In my opinion her tennis ability is so outstanding – that will always be there,” claimed Henman. “The challenge for her is to build up this physical resilience. She’s had a difficult time. And that’s where I think the surgeries could be a blessing in disguise – that it gives her the opportunity to put in the real hard yards to build up that physical resilience.”

The former No.4 continued, “In 12 months’ time, for argument sake, if Raducanu is not out in tournament play and winning matches I don’t think it will be because she hasn’t got the necessary tennis level. It’s more about the physical resilience.

“Because you can’t achieve what she achieved without being a phenomenal tennis player and a phenomenal athlete. Her journey was almost back to front, she didn’t have that foundation. She just won on pure natural ability and now the demands of the Tour, playing week in week out, competing, puts enormous strain on your body. And she’s got to build up that resilience. And I’m sure she’ll do that.”

With Raducanu focussing on recovery, it means that she will miss the US Open for the first time since she won the title two years ago.

And Henman revealed how ‘disappointed’ his fellow Brit will be, “She’ll be the most disappointed of anyone not to be at the US Open given her history, but being so young there will be so many opportunities ahead of her. So this is a great chance for her to kind of build to give her that foundation to be back on the match courts whenever she’s ready.”

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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.