Emma Raducanu forced to retire from Nottingham Open with injury

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Raducanu attempted to carry on but was forced to pull out at 4-3 down in the first set (PA)
Raducanu attempted to carry on but was forced to pull out at 4-3 down in the first set (PA)

Emma Raducanu was forced to retire due to injury in the first set of her grass-court season at the Nottingham Open on Tuesday, in what is a huge concern ahead of her Wimbledon return in three weeks’ time.

The US Open champion, who has suffered a string of injuries since beginning life on the WTA Tour 12 months ago, needed a medical timeout in the early stages of her clash with Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic.

She received treatment on her left side, with a trainer attending to her rib and upper arm, and took painkillers but continued to look in discomfort. Raducanu attempted to carry on but was forced to pull out at 4-3 down in the first set.

It was her first match in the UK since her historic run to the fourth round at Wimbledon last year, which she followed up with a memorable victory at Flushing Meadows.

This is the third time this season that Raducanu has been forced to retire from a match due to injury. The 19-year-old had played down injury concerns ahead of the French Open last month, after suffering hand blisters, foot blisters as well as a lingering back injury so far this season.

“I’m shocked a little bit,” Golubic said after the match. “I didn’t expect this to happen and I feel sorry for Emma. I was looking forward to the challenge of this match and it’s not the way I wanted it to end. Hopefully she recovers.”

Raducanu had come full circle as she returned to the scene of her WTA Tour debut 12 months ago, and the British No 1 had been looking to get up to speed on the grass at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.

But another early exit from a tournament and a latest injury set-back is not what Raducanu wanted ahead of her return to the All England Club, where Raducanu reached the fourth round just weeks after completing her A-levels last summer.

Raducanu, who was the No 2 seed at the Nottingham Open, faced a first career meeting with the 29-year-old Golubic. The Swiss player is ranked world No 55 but reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon last year.

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