Emma Raducanu told to ‘take her time’ before returning to tennis
Tim Henman has urged Emma Raducanu to take her return to tennis as low as it needs to be to ensure she is ready for the physical challenges of the WTA Tour.
Raducanu is one of the most talented players in the women’s game, and she made history when she became the only qualifier to ever win a major at the US Open in 2021.
Things have not gone well for her since, though. She has had issues with form and fitness, and she has not played a match since May due to a wrist problem.
Henman, though, believes her injury record shows that she is not yet robust enough in terms of her physicality to cope with the demands of the tour, and until she puts that right she will never be the player she could – and should – be.
“It is above all about the physical side and building the resilience to stand up to the demands of the tour week in, week out,” Henman said.
“She has always been different with coaches and some people like to do things differently in an individual sport. I have absolutely no doubts about her tennis ability, but it’s the physical side and building that base around you.
“It is the fundamental requirement in the modern game and she needs to be using this time to create that. Jack Draper (her equally talented British contemporary) has realised the importance of this and you are seeing him reap the benefits.
“Perhaps she needs to look at what Jack has been doing. Everyone wants her to succeed and you just hope she will make the right choices to achieve what she is capable of. Emma should take her time.”
When will Emma Raducanu return?
The answer to that one is still that no one really knows. Raducanu was initially planning to return in an exhibition event in December, although that is now in substantial doubt.
She is yet to full step-up her training sessions following surgery, and you would certainly have expected her to by now if a return to court was just a a month away.
However, the Australian Open is still looking like a realistic target for Raducanu.
It would give her an extra month to prepare and few would be surprised to see the former US Open champion in Melbourne.
Read >> World’s best tennis magazine