Emma Raducanu - Stuttgart 2023

Will Emma Raducanu play the US Open?

The tennis world is warming up for the final major of the season. As the Stateside slam looms closer, focus narrows in on British hopefuls and even more so on former British Champions and their likelihood of competing. Andy Murray, fitness permitting, is already confirmed. Emma Raducanu is not.

A fairy-tale run with a fairy-tale ending could be used to describe Emma Raducanu’s glorious and odds defying run at the 2021 US Open where she clinched the title in a historic and record-breaking tournament.

While many players spend a whole career training for a Grand Slam title, Raducanu did it at only the second time of asking, after coming through qualifiers.

As defending champion the following year, she fell at the first hurdle in straight sets to a tricky opponent in Alize Cornet.

Will Emma Raducanu play the 2023 US Open?

As a former recent champion, if the British hopeful was fit and able to compete, you would expect she would have few issues to make the women’s singles draw.

However, her current ranking, at 133, is not high enough to automatically qualify for the draw.

The 20-year-old has had an unexpectedly short season due to injury and has not competed in a slam since January, where she was defeated at the Australian open in the second round by Coco Gauff, 6-3, 7-6.

There are precisely 128 spaces to be filled in a Grand Slam draw. To automatically qualify, players must be ranked in the top 104. 16 places are reserved for those who come through qualifying and the final eight spots are awarded to wild cards. These are awarded as an invitation to a select few who are not eligible for entry.

Despite her low ranking and lack of game time this season, if the Brit can recover in time, a wild card would be highly likely. Typically, wild cards are awarded to local talent by the deciding slam. However, previous champions who are seeking to compete are virtually certain to be awarded one. Venus Williams, who is a five time Wimbledon champion, was awarded one at this year’s event despite a ranking deep in the 500’s.

Ultimately it will come down to Raducanu’s recovery speed and her willingness to jump straight back into a Grand Slam with next to no playing time this season.

What is Emma Raducanu’s current injury?

Since Raducanu’s triumph at the top of the women’s game, the young star has been plagued by injury and illness and has only 10 matches under her belt for this season.

In May, she announced that she was undergoing minor surgery to both her right and left wrists and also her left ankle after rolling it at a tournament in New Zealand.

In a post on Instagram she said “It pains me to say I will miss the summer events…It is is safe to say the last 10 months have been difficult as I dealt with a recurring injury on a bone of both hands.’’

It seems that the initial wrist injury was sustained in a practice session ahead of the 2022 US Open. It continued to flare over the subsequent months, ending her 2022 season early and caused a last-minute withdrawal from Madrid in April.

She is thought to have undergone minor procedures in the wrist in relation to the bone issue.

Why does the US Open love Emma Raducanu?

Emma Raducanu was the first qualifier to ever win a Grand Slam and the first British Women to deliver such an achieving in 44 years. All of this she achieved at just 18 years old, without dropping a set, in her first Summer of professional Tennis.

Before the US Open, she had never even come through a qualifying event. She was in fact, sitting her A-Levels.

Her story swept the nation and the US home crowd who cheered her on as one of their own.

But with such achievements comes the weight of pressure and expectation. The pressures of competing on tour as an already crowned Grand Slam champion and a rare catapult to the top have proven too much for the young player and for her body.

If she doesn’t play at this year’s US open, she will likely fall out of the top 200. But at 20-years-old and already a slam champion, this shouldn’t matter. If we don’t see Emma Raducanu this Summer, we are sure to see a slow and steady build back to the forefront of the women’s game. Time is on her side.

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