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Emma Raducanu’s French Open preparations suffered a setback as she was forced to retire from her first-round match at the Internazionali BNL D’Italia in Rome.
A niggling back issue, which hampered her at the Madrid Open last week, once again put paid to her chances as she struggled through 11 games against Bianca Andreescu.
The British No 1 was 2-6 1-2 down when she left the court, telling a physio: “I can’t move.”
A one-sided first set saw Raducanu have no answer to Andreescu’s power while struggling to make her own serve count.
Raducanu spent some time off the court for treatment and she was clearly uncomfortable when play got back under way.
Andreescu, like Raducanu a US Open winner born in Canada with Romanian heritage, is herself building back up to full fitness after a knee injury,
Now Raducanu, currently without a full-time coach following her split from Torben Beltz, will be hoping to return to full fitness by the time the French Open gets under way at Roland Garros in under a fortnight’s time.
In the men’s draw, Novak Djokovic stormed into the third round as he aims to retain his place at the top of the men’s rankings.
A 6-3 6-2 victory over Aslan Karatsev saw Djokovic advance, knowing he needs to reach the semi-finals to remain world No 1 having missed several tournaments due to his coronavirus vaccination status.
There was also a win for British ninth seed Cameron Norrie, who beat wildcard Luca Nardi 6-4 6-4 to set-up a third-round clash with Marin Cilic.