No warm-up, no problem for Emma Raducanu after waking up two minutes before match

Emma Raducanu in action Credit: Alamy
Emma Raducanu in action Credit: Alamy

Emma Raducanu made a winning return to action at the Indian Wells Open on Thursday, but her pre-match routine was a bit unusual and it worked like a charm.

Raducanu’s build-up to the WTA 1000 tournament has been far from ideal as she withdrew from last week’s ATX Open due to tonsillitis while she also pulled out of the charity Eisenhower Cup on Tuesday as she was still under the weather.

However, the 2021 US Open champion pitched up on Wednesday and produced a clinical display to defeat Danka Kovinic 6-2, 6-3.

Well, she only pitched up after taking a nap before the match as she revealed in an interview that she only decided 20 minutes before her clash against Kovinic that she would play.

“I didn’t feel too good this morning,” she told BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra.

“I’m just so happy with the way I fought and dealt with the circumstances.

“I just woke up feeling not great to be honest. I felt quite ill so I’m just happy to have played the match and then to win it despite how I felt today.

“Today before the match, I did not warm up. Two minutes before I was called I was sleeping in the treatment room so I’m just proud to have got out there and then won.”

Raducanu, who has slipped to No 77 in the WTA Rankings, will take on 20th seed Magba Linette from Poland in the second round at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in South California on Saturday afternoon.

A deep run at the WTA 1000 event could see her climb back into the top 70 of the rankings, but she will need to string together a decent run of form, something she has not done in several months.

After a stuttering end to the 2022 season, the 20-year-old’s 2023 campaign has not been much better as she has played very tennis so far this year due to a write injury and illness.

Her match against Kovinic was only her fifth of the year and she is yet to make it past the second round of an event since the Korea Open last September.

Raducanu, who will also feature at the Miami Open from March 20 after being awarded a wildcard, admitted that she is far from fully fit and will manage her workload.

“I’m not 100% but you never really are,” the British No 1 said.

“The short term plan is to manage it as best as possible. Managing the load, not train as much.

“Get through the tournament and evaluate after.”

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