Emma Raducanu forced to retire in unfortunate Rome debut
A back injury suffered by Emma Raducanu in Madrid has lingered in Rome as it pushed her to retire against 2019 US Open winner Bianca Andreescu.
The battle of the New York champions was billed to be a great contest, but Andreescu was too strong to begin as she raced to a 5-2 lead in the first set before Raducanu took a medical timeout.
Down a set and 1-2 the Brit then requested the physio again before calling an end to the match and handing her Canadian opponent a walkover.
Andreescu told Prime Video after the win, acknowledging Raducanu’s condition: “I hope Emma’s injury, whatever she’s dealing with, isn’t so bad.
“She’s an amazing player.
“I expected it to be a tougher match obviously but she’s dealing with something, I hope she going to be ok.”
Ahead of her Rome debut Raducanu had described her back as feeling fine and manageable, but that she is just trying to adjust to the rising intensity of matchplay.
This is the third time the 19-year-old has retired from a professional match and a second time in 2022.
She notably bowed out in the fourth round of Wimbledon last year with breathing problems and again during the WTA 250 Zapopan Open back in February in Mexico with a hip problem.
Former world number four Tim Henman gave his view on Raducanu’s situation after the match.
He said on Prime Video: “We’ve talked about the lack of physical foundation [for Raducanu].
“Because she hasn’t really had the opportunity to put in that work away from tournament play.
“The ideal scenario [is] in November or December when you don’t have tournament play.
“You can do that off-season work that gives you that foundation.”
He added that Raducanu was unfortunate not to have that time to build in the off-season after getting Covid late last year.
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