Emma Raducanu - Indian Wells 2023

Emma Raducanu ‘taken aback by support’ in Grand Slam return

Emma Raducanu has returned to Grand Slam tennis with a win, beating Shelby Rogers in straight sets in the first round of the Australian Open.

Raducanu beat the also returning American, 6-3 6-2, and did not face a single break point throughout the entire match.

The crowd was heavily in favour of the Brit on the 1573 Arena, something that Raducanu admitted she was taken aback by, “I’m very happy to have come through that. It being my first Slam match back, it’s extra sweet.

“I was a little taken aback by the support. I think it was better than any year I’ve had before here. It was amazing to see all the signs and hear the support. It was incredible, very happy to play in those sorts of circumstances again.”

This win over Rogers was Raducanu’s third match back since undergoing surgery to both wrists and her left ankle, with the 21-year-old revealing that she is now pain-free after suffering for so long.

“It’s amazing to be pain-free with the wrists. I honestly didn’t know if I’d ever get to this stage,” said Raducanu. “I had pain for so long. I was playing since before the US swing in 2022, all the way before surgery. ”

She continued, “It was difficult because I wasn’t able to train, I wasn’t able to practice. Then having to go play and compete against the best in the world with an hour a day, while not playing for two weeks trying to settle the pain down, is very difficult.

“You’re playing and it’s like you can’t even say ‘I know, it’s doing the work, it will pay off’, because I wasn’t doing any work. I was just trying to make it until after Wimbledon, but I just couldn’t. Mentally I wanted to be in the best position possible every match. So I just decided to (have the surgeries).”

Emma Raducanu - Instagram 2024

Raducanu now moves onto the second round of the Australian Open, where she will play world No.94 Yafan Wang in a first-time meeting on Thursday.

Inside the baseline…

It was a very solid performance from Emma Raducanu today, who was given a very favourable draw against Shelby Rogers, who had not played a single match since Wimbledon. Raducanu has now played three good matches this year, with her only defeat coming against Wimbledon semi-finalist and former No.3 Elina Svitolina, in a three set battle in Auckland. Raducanu’s next opponent, Yafan Wang, provides another big opportunity for the Brit, as she looks to build her ranking back up.

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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.