British tennis star Emma Raducanu‘s Wimbledon preparations have been dealt a huge blow after being forced to retire from her opening round match against Viktorija Golubic at the Nottingham Open. The Brit called for a medical timeout just five minutes into her clash with her Swiss opponent, before eventually retiring from the match just over 25 minutes later.
This injury scare comes at a crucial time for the US Open champion, with the 2022 Wimbledon event just around the corner. Her outing in Nottingham was the beginning of her all-important grass campaign, all in preparation for this month’s Grand Slam at SW19.
As the 19-year-old called for the timeout it looked as if the injury issue was coming from the left-side of her rib cage, as she pointed out the discomfort to her trainer.
After her trainer made it down to the court, Raducanu was issued with some pain killers to help with the discomfort, whilst treatment was being issued. Despite this, the British teenage star got up and continued on with the match.
Her perseverance did not last much longer though, as seven games in – finding herself 4-3 down – the US Open champion finally called time and retired from the match. Raducanu was assisted as she made her way off the Nottingham court, with a member of staff seen seen carrying her kit bag.
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This is not the first time Raducanu’s injury problems have forced her out of competing on the WTA Tour. The Brit has endured a stop-start campaign since entering the history books as an 18-year-old Grand Slam champion at Flushing Meadows in September 2021.
As a result the teenager’s recent outings at the Miami Open, Madrid Open and Italian Open were all cut short due to fitness problems. Her outing in Nottingham was her first WTA event back on home soil since she became US Open champion just over eight months ago.
Raducanu was a relative unknown this time last year, before bursting onto the scene by clinching the Grand Slam title in New York in September. Prior to that the Brit showcased her skills at the 2021 Wimbledon event, where she impressively reached the fourth round before once again being forced to retire with fitness problems.
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One year on, it now remains to be scene as to whether Raducanu will make a return to the famous SW19 venue later this month following her setback in Nottingham. Following Raducanu’s retirement her first round opponent said: “I’m a little bit shocked. I am still in my match focus and bubble.
“I didn’t expect this to happen. I feel sorry for Emma. I was looking forward to a tough challenge. This Centre Court is really beautiful. I wanted to stay on it. It is unfortunate it has ended like this. It is a sad way to finish and I hope she recovers.”