Due to a right-hand injury, Emma Raducanu, the 2021 US Open winner and British No. 1, withdrew from the Madrid Open just hours before her opening-round match against Bulgaria’s Viktoriya Tomova. Raducanu’s withdrawal means she will fall out of the WTA’s top 100 following the tournament, her lowest position since winning the US Open as a qualifier. This injury is understood to be the same wrist injury that has been plaguing the world No 85 since last year.
Last week, Raducanu suffered a one-sided straight-sets defeat to Jelena Ostapenko in the first round of the Stuttgart Open, her fifth defeat of 2023. Following her first-round exit to Bianca Andreescu at the Miami Open at the end of March, Raducanu had said she would seek fresh advice on how to fix the wrist problems that have hampered her this season.
“I’ve been dealing with it for a while,” she explained. “I really just need to reflect after this tournament and figure out what my next steps are.” I’m able to play in the short term but the current solutions aren’t very viable long term. This year has been difficult for me since I’ve been managing a couple existing injuries, which has been annoying and frustrating because I’ve been training as hard as I can.”
Emma Raducanu Withdraws from Madrid Open Due to Injury, Will Drop Out of Top 100
Raducanu made herself “unavailable” for Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup clash with France in April, with a view to having the best preparation possible for the clay-court season. The right-hand injury, on the other hand, has proven to be a major setback, and the timing couldn’t be worse, as it means she will drop out of the world’s top 100 when the rankings are updated on Monday.
Despite the setback, Raducanu has previously shown that she has the right mindset to accept the challenge of climbing back up the rankings. When she returned to Flushing Meadows in September as the defending champion and 11th seed, she lost in the first round against Alize Cornet, dropping her out of the world’s top 75. She remained optimistic, however, and enjoyed the challenge of gradually ascending back to the top.
A Wimbledon wildcard or the Qualify Tournament for Raducanu?
With less than a month until the Wimbledon entry deadline on May 22, Raducanu would need to perform well at the Italian Open to get her ranking high enough to make the main draw without needing a wildcard. With her wrist issue causing problems, she may be forced to skip Rome and sacrifice the opportunity to gain extra points. As a result, if she wants to play in Wimbledon this year, she will have to compete in the Qualify Tournament, exactly as she did when she won the US Open in 2021.
Although her ambition to return to the top has been limited by a persistent wrist injury, Raducanu will be in the right frame of mind regarding her current setback once the physical concerns are resolved. The 20-year-old has already shown what she is capable of when there are no niggles keeping her from practising or competing at her best.