Emma Raducanu practises at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park
Emma Raducanu is aiming to go beyond the second round at a Grand Slam event for the first time since she won the 2021 US Open
Dates: 16-29 January Venue: Melbourne Park
Coverage: Commentary every day from 07:00 GMT on Radio 5 Sports Extra ‘Tennis Breakfast’ live from Melbourne, with selected live text commentaries and match reports on the BBC Sport website and app.

Emma Raducanu says she “fully trusts” the ankle injury that threatened her participation at the Australian Open.

The 20-year-old Briton rolled her left ankle in Auckland nine days ago, but says she is ready to play in Melbourne.

Raducanu, ranked 75th in the world, faces Germany’s Tamara Korpatsch in the first round on Monday.

“I’ve been able to do preparation, albeit more limited than usual. But I’m feeling in a good place to go out there and give it my best shot,” she said.

Raducanu, who stunned the world by winning the 2021 US Open as a teenage qualifier, has been hoping to put behind her the injury problems that marred her first full year on the WTA Tour.

But, after a two-month fitness block designed to build up her body for the rigours of the season, her preparations for Melbourne were hampered when she suffered what she described as an “accident” she could not avoid.

It came in only her second match of the year, when she played Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova in Auckland, and left her in tears when she left court.

Raducanu’s mobility during practice at Melbourne Park this week initially looked difficult but by Thursday – when the tournament draw was made – she was moving freely and looked in good enough shape to play.

“We were thrown a bit of a curveball but we remained optimistic,” she said in her news conference on Saturday.

“It’s been a team effort to get me to this place. We’ve been building it up pretty gradually.

“For the ankle, I feel really good. It’s going to be more introducing certain things, and the rate at which we’ve had to do it has been really quick.

“But I’ve not really played much tennis ever in my career so I’m kind of used to it. And I’m not stressed about lack of tennis that much.”

Spanish 11th seed Paula Badosa and Australian hope Ajla Tomljanovic – who has reached the quarter-finals at the past two majors – both withdrew on Saturday because of injury.

Badosa sustained a thigh injury in a warm-up tournament in Adelaide, while Tomljanovic picked up a knee injury at the United Cup mixed team tournament.



Source link