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Raducanu on her back injury: “I just really need to be sensible”
The Briton quit midway through her first-round match against Bianca Andreescu with a back injury she picked up in Madrid last week
US Open champion Emma Raducanu says she “needs to be sensible” and listen to her body to avoid the kind of injury that saw her quit midway through her first-round match with Bianca Andreescu at the Italian Open on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old Briton failed to finish a match for the second time this year, this time due to a back issue she said she had been carrying in Madrid last week.
“Of course I want to play every opportunity I have, and probably even when I shouldn’t,” she admitted.
“But, you know, I just really need to be sensible. Sometimes I feel like I need a voice to, you know, just hold my hand, Do this, do that.
“I hope that I can just get my back right and my body fully fit. I think that next week might be a tight turnaround, even though I wanted to play next week and get more matches on clay. My back takes priority, so we’ll see what happens.”
Raducanu has been troubled by a series of niggling injuries ever since she won the US Open in September. In her first full season on Tour, she’s still getting used to the rigours of the circuit and the physical demands required to succeed, week in, week out.
The Briton said there was a big difference between the way she felt in practice and on the match court.
“It’s weird, because when I’m playing in practice, I can practice for a good few hours a day, I’m putting in a lot of hours on the practice court,” she said. “I’m not sure whether the quality or the ball I’m receiving in practice, I mean, it’s not the same when I’m playing these matches because I definitely feel like the matches are taking a lot more out of me than they probably should.
“I had a match in Stuttgart, my first round, it was, like, (6-1, 6-2) or something, (6-0, 6-1), I don’t know. Next day I felt like I was in bits. It became like a running joke.
“It’s probably the match load, just getting used to it. Also back to back, just playing week in, week out. Looking back, since Fed Cup I’ve been home, like, for one day.
“It’s just been four weeks of constant getting ready for the next match, recovering. I think that everything is just taking a toll. It’s probably just my body crying out, needs a little break.”
Raducanu said she hoped to be fully fit for the French Open, which begins on May 21, but that this time she would take her time recovering.
“Obviously I would not want to miss the French Open,” said Raducanu, who reached the quarter-finals in Stuttgart and won two rounds in Madrid. “I mean, the whole clay season leads up to it.
“I think the last few weeks have been really positive. I’ve learnt a lot about myself and my game has definitely improved on this surface.
“But for sure I need to make sure my back is fully right, however long that takes. I need to just keep on it. I don’t want to play my next match with a feeling of limitation because I think that I learnt my lesson from this week, when to push, when not to push. Probably today wasn’t right.”