British number one Emma Raducanu exited the first round of the Italian Open recently after being forced to retire once again due to a persistent back complaint. While trailing Canada’s Bianca Andreescu 6-2 2-1, Raducanu underwent off=court treatment before the decision to pull out of the match was made.
Before the Italian Open began, Raducanu had been doing her best to manage her back issues, but now it appears as though the nineteen-year-old will have to take action for the good of her career. With the French Open on the horizon, Raducanu’s involvement has been thrown into doubt as she continues to struggle with niggles.
Raducanu’s back became a problem when it stiffened up in Indian Wells, and the same issue arose in Stuttgart too. She lost recently to Anhelina Kalinina in Madrid, and again her back was to blame, with Raducanu herself insisting that she only gave herself a “5 per cent chance” of winning the match. Being forced to quit midway through her first-round game at the Italian Open proved to be the final straw, with the US Open winner insisting now it’s time to rest up.
There are many suggestions that Raducanu’s issues stem from her move into the professional ranks, where the demands of the competition are far greater. Therefore, her body is still attempting to adjust to the rigours of the pro tour. Raducanu has been playing and quickly recovering before competing again in recent weeks. There’s been no time to rest and recuperate.
Speaking about the upcoming French Open, Raducanu said, “Obviously, I would not want to miss the French Open.” But she is now considering listening to her body instead of forcing herself to play and risking further potential problems. The British Number 1 added, “But for sure, I need to make sure my back is fully right, however long that takes.”
In an effort to get on top of her continued back complaints, Raducanu is set to fly into London to undergo scans potentially. They could be pivotal in revealing the extent of her issues and could enable the current world number eleven to put together a plan that will allow her to compete at full capacity once again. It’s something she’s been unable to do for a while, and her progress within the pro ranks is beginning to stall, much to her’s and Britain's disappointment.
If Raducanu is in good enough condition to compete at the French Open, she will start the tournament as a rank outsider. Iga Swiatek and Simona Halep are the players most fancied to win the Grand Slam, with the former currently on an impressive twenty-five game win streak. Halep, who suffered disappointment when she exited the Italian Open in the Round of 32, will be looking to get back to winning ways in Paris. She's a former French Open champion, having won the tournament in 2018. Swiatek was successful at Roland Garros in 2020.