Emma Raducanu hopeful over Wimbledon but withdraws from Birmingham Classic with side injury

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Frustration: Emma Raducanu has struggled with injury since her fairytale US Open win  (Action Images via Reuters)
Frustration: Emma Raducanu has struggled with injury since her fairytale US Open win (Action Images via Reuters)

Emma Raducanu is optimistic that she will be fit to play at Wimbledon later this month.

The British women’s No1 saw her fitness troubles continue on Tuesday as she was forced to withdraw from her Nottingham Open contest against Viktorija Golubic due to a left side strain that she described as a “freak” injury.

Such a problem has also forced Raducanu to pull out of the forthcoming Birmingham Classic, sparking fears that she could be forced to miss Wimbledon, which begins on June 27.

However, the reigning US Open champion believes she will be ready to resume her grass-court campaign soon after positive scan results. It is understood she could compete at the Eastbourne International later this month.

“It was disappointing to go out this week with a side injury and unfortunately will no longer be able to play in Birmingham,” Raducanu said in a statement released by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) on Wednesday.

“I’m looking forward to be back on the match court soon though to enjoy the rest of the grass season.”

Raducanu enjoyed a fairytale run to the fourth round on her main draw debut at Wimbledon last summer before suffering breathing difficulties, later going on to make history with a stunning first Major triumph at Flushing Meadows.

2022 has been a difficult year for the 19-year-old, who battled painful blisters on her racquet hand as she failed to advance past the second round of the Australian Open in January.

World No11 Raducanu dealt with further niggles that have greatly disrupted her first full year on the WTA Tour, with a troublesome back injury initially putting her French Open debut in doubt.

However, she was eventually able to compete at Roland Garros, beating Czech teenager Linda Noskova before falling to Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the second round.

Raducanu has been focusing on gym work in a bid to mantain fitness, though currently remains without a full-time coach after splitting from Torben Beltz after just five months in April.

She had worked under Nigel Sears at Wimbledon in 2021 before a short-term partnership with Andrew Richardson during her remarkable US Open triumph.

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