What next for Raducanu? Grass season ahead of Wimbledon

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What next for Raducanu? Grass season ahead of Wimbledon

After a solid run of form for Emma Raducanu, when do we expect to see her in action next on the new Sky Sports Tennis channel?

The 2021 US Open champion has had broadly positive results since returning from an eight-month injury lay-off last year, after closing down her 2023 season following a first-round exit in Stuttgart in April.

Raducanu helped steer Great Britain to a spot in the Billie Jean King Cup finals as they beat home favourites France on clay, and carried on that form into the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix at Stuttgart.

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The Sky Sports Tennis studio panel analyse how Raducanu has improved following last year’s injuries

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Highlights of the Stuttgart Open quarter-final between Raducanu and world No 1 Iga Swiatek

She lost to world No 1 Iga Swiatek in the quarter-finals – a rematch from the same stage two years ago, and her best performance this year. She also beat former two-time Stuttgart champion and three-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber in the opening round.

But her form took a dip at the Madrid Open when the 21-year-old exited the tournament after a disappointing first-round straight-sets defeat by world No 82 Maria Lourdes Carle.

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Highlights of Raducanu’s first-round exit against Argentina’s Maria Lourdes Carle at the Madrid Open

Raducanu pulls out of French Open qualifying

Having missed the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, Raducanu signed up to play a WTA 500 event on clay in Strasbourg.

However, she withdrew from the tournament, which is scheduled one week before the start of the French Open on May 26.

Raducanu is not guaranteed automatic entry into the main draw, despite using her protected ranking of 103, with the Brit third on the alternates list.

She could have entered and played qualifying, which begins on May 20, but after initially appearing on the qualifying entry list, she has now been removed with no reason given for her withdrawal.

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Colin Fleming and Anne Keothavong debate whether Raducanu should play French Open qualifying after her disappointing opening round loss at the Madrid Open

“Emma and her team need to have an open conversation [about next plans]. It’s been a largely positive start to the season,” Colin Fleming said on Sky Sports Tennis.

“How do you schedule the next few weeks to make sure you do better? Is it to miss the rest of the clay and be ready for the grass?

“She doesn’t want to play and put in more performances like that [in Madrid], because then it becomes a bit of a habit. She needs to wipe the slate clean and make better decisions.

“I’d love to see her go to Roland Garros and play, even if it’s qualifying. If she’s fit and healthy, of course she can qualify. Once you’re in the main draw, who knows what can happen.”

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Raducanu says she isn’t surprised by how well she’s playing, but says it isn’t her best and can improve

Sky Sports’ Anne Keothavong also spoke of the benefits of Raducanu taking a rest ahead of gearing up for the grass-court season, while also pointing out the risk in waiting so long before playing again.

“It’s a number of weeks between now and the first grass-court event. That’s a long training block and she’s already had eight months off on the sidelines,” Keothavong said.

“She has said and proven she gets confidence from the hours she puts in on the practice court.

“We talk a lot about head, heart and legs, and if your head and your heart aren’t in it, your legs don’t stand a chance.

“It was really disappointing to see. She said she was tired, but do you talk yourself into more tiredness?”

Grass season and Wimbledon

Britain's Emma Raducanu celebrates beating Belgium's Alison van Uytvanck to win a women's first round singles match on day one of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Monday, June 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Image: The Brit made the fourth round of Wimbledon on debut

Raducanu could warm up for Wimbledon by playing at the Lexus Surbiton Trophy from June 2-9 or wait until the Rothesay Open in Nottingham from June 10-16, with the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham taking place from June 17-23.

Her final chance of playing competitive tennis is at the Rothesay International in Eastbourne from June 24-29 before the start of The Championships at the All England Club.

Raducanu made her breakthrough at the Grand Slam where, barely two months out of school and without a Tour win to her name, the 18-year-old made the fourth round on debut in 2021.

Not all plain sailing for Raducanu

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Raducanu gives a serving masterclass and gives tips and tricks on different types of serves! credit: LTA via X

Since her return to the WTA tour, Raducanu failed to win any back-to-back matches until reaching the third round of Indian Wells.

She had been due to face China’s Wang Xiyu in the first round of the Miami Open after being awarded a wildcard for the event, but was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a lower back injury.

She was hampered by a stomach bug during her loss at the first major of the year, the Australian Open, but her tennis was encouraging and she stepped up her comeback with victory over Marie Bouzkova in Abu Dhabi before being denied a spot in the quarter-finals by Ons Jabeur.

What’s coming up on Sky Sports Tennis?

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Find out all the ways to watch tennis on Sky Sports, including the US Open, ATP and WTA tours

In the run-up to the second Grand Slam of 2024 – the French Open at Roland Garros from May 26 – you can watch all of the biggest tennis stars in action live on Sky Sports as they compete across the clay-court season.

  • Geneva Open (ATP 250) – May 20-25
  • Lyon Open (ATP 250) – May 20-25
  • Internationaux de Strasbourg (WTA 500) – May 20-25
  • Morocco Open (WTA 250) – May 20-25
  • We could next see Raducanu in action on Sky at the Mubadala Citi DC Open in Washington from July 29-Aug 4 or the National Bank Open 1000 event in Toronto from August 6-12

How to watch play on Sky Sports Tennis

The stars of tennis will appear on the new Sky Sports Tennis channel every day

Image: The stars of tennis will appear on the new Sky Sports Tennis channel every day

Sky Sports has confirmed a new home for tennis in the UK and Ireland, with Sky Sports Tennis on Sky and NOW, making tennis content available all day, every day for fans.

Sky Sports will broadcast more live tennis than anywhere else, bringing over 4,000 matches from more than 80 tournaments a year on the ATP and WTA Tours, as well as full coverage of the US Open, all exclusively live.

NOW TV image

Non-Sky subscribers can stream live matches with a NOW Sports Day and Month Membership, via Sky Sports Tennis, Sky Sports Arena, and Sky Sports Mix channels.

For further access, fans will also be able to follow their favourite players and gain deeper insights from both Tours via Sky Sports News, the Sky Sports app, on SkySports.com and via Sky Sports social channels.

Watch the WTA and ATP Tours throughout 2024 on Sky Sports Tennis. Stream Sky Sports Tennis and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership. No contract, cancel anytime.

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