Emma Raducanu leaves the field in tears as she is forced to retire with an ankle injury in Auckland, casting doubt on Australian Open participation hopes in 11 days
- Emma Raducanu has withdrawn from the ASB Classic in Auckland due to injury
- At the end of the second set, which she lost 7-5, a trainer examined her ankle
- Raducanu played one point to start the third before retiring from the game
- The Briton was left in tears and her place at the Australian Open is now in real danger
Emma Raducanu burst into tears when her hopes of playing at the Australian Open were seriously jeopardized after she had to retire from Auckland with an injury.
The one-time US Open champion was in cruise control against world No. 134 Viktoria Kuzmova and won the first set, but she soon faltered with a problem in her left ankle.
At the end of the second set, which she lost 7-5, Raducanu received treatment from the trainer, before tearfully tearing down after one more point proved too painful to continue, raising serious doubts about her fitness for the season-opening Grand. Slam in 11 days.
Emma Raducanu was in tears after pulling out of the ASB Classic in Auckland injured
The Briton will now be a big doubt to take part in the Australian Open, which starts in 11 days
Raducanu got the coach’s attention after losing the second set to Viktoria Kuzmova
After her 2023 opening win against 17-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova on Monday, hopes grew that Raducanu could build up form to compete in Melbourne at the Australian Open.
But leaving the court in tears at the ASB Classic suggests she now fears for her place in the Slam, with the draw taking place on a Thursday for a week.
Her final point was made on the serve, but she flinched and quickly stated that there was no way she could play in a deciding set, opting to retire.
Raducanu soon realized the pain was too much and retired at the start of the third set
Raducanu came out in good form and was aggressive in her game from the start, leading 6-0 in the first set.
She committed only three unforced errors and had her first serve percentage above 70 percent.
But momentum shifted in the second set as she failed to capitalize on a series of break point opportunities and eventually lost her own grip on serve to Kuzmova.
This is the seventh time that Raducanu has had to withdraw from a tournament since breaking through on the WTA Tour.
At her 2021 Wimbledon Grand Slam debut, she retired due to breathing difficulties, before retiring from the Abierto Zapopan event in early 2022 due to cramping and fatigue.
Raducanu was unlucky with injuries and retired five times in 2022 due to a series of issues
From there, Raducanu withdrew from matches at the Italian Open and Nottingham Open due to a back problem in Italy and an apparent rib problem in England.
A glute problem cost her an impressive run at the Korea Open before her 2022 season ended at the Transylvania Open.
Raducanu has worked hard to build her durability for the grueling WTA Tour and has always vowed not to “Google doctor” herself.
But the tears shed in Auckland suggest a resignation that the Australian Open may be coming too soon with just 11 days to the first round at Melbourne Park.