In 2021, then 18-year-old Emma Raducanu beat Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3 to emerge the winner without losing a set at the US Open. This set her on the run to becoming the youngest grand slam champion, since Maria Sharapova had the same honor in 2004. This was her second grand slam attempt, and in the history of the Open, no woman has ever won with such few attempts.
But in her Grand Slam debut against her opponent Ajla Tomljanovic, Raducanu experienced breathing difficulties, and she had to withdrew at 4-6 0-3.
This seems to have been the beginning of her injury woes which have haunted her three-year-old career, to date.
From glute and back injuries, Raducanu would also sustain wrist injuries, perhaps owing to the weight of tennis rackets, paddles (for pickleball) and other similar equipment.
Wins the US Open in 2021 and a bad start in 2022
After withdrawing from the Wimbledon in the fourth round, Raducanu went ahead to win the US Open. But after that, her performance has been lacklustre.
In her first Australian Open, she sustained blisters on both hands and this was thought to have contributed to her defeat, where she lost to Danka Kovinic in the second round.
Even the year 2022 started on a low note for Raducanu at the Abierto Zapopan, as she had to withdraw again when the cramping in her left leg just would not go away. This was after playing for more than three hours and getting to the deciding set.
Because of the same injury, Great Britain’s greatest would go onto skipping her place at the Mexican Monterrey Open tournament.
Blisters on foot
After she forfeited her place in the Monterrey Open, she lost to her Czech opponent in her clay court debut at the Billie Jean King Cup.
Defeated in the second round, she would go on to say that she hardly felt her toes as her feet kept slipping around a lot in her shoes.
She also sustained blisters on her feet, which she attributed to playing on a new surface for the first time.
Italian Open and Nottingham Open Losses
When playing against World’s No. 4 Bianca Andreescu of Canada in the Italian Open of May 2022, Raducanu again withdrew in the first round.
Prior to this match, she has sustained an injury to her back, but the injury kept haunting her. She would later heal well enough to play in the French Open, but again, she did not proceed beyond the second round.
A couple of weeks after taking part in the French Open, Raducanu experienced pain on her left side and withdrew after the first round.
Because of the Nottingham injury, Raducanu missed the Eastbourne International. However, she was ready in good time for Wimbledon, where she lost to France’s Caroline Garcia, who is currently ranked at World No. 4 for singles and No. 2 for doubles.
After that, it was defeat after defeat, and she also had to relinquish her US Open crown after the first round. She lost to France’s Alize Cornet who has won six singles (WTA Tour) and three doubles titles on the ITF.
Glute pain forces Raducanu out of the Korea Open
On September 24, 2022, Raducanu looked like she was finally turning around her bad streak; but again, a glute injury would force her out of the Korean Open at the Olympic Park Tennis Court.
The pain in her left glute forced her to retire in the third round. She called for medical attention and her physio treated her lower back in the breaks.
She was playing against Jelena Ostapenko, a Latvian professional tennis player who was ranked World’s No. 5 in singles in WTA rankings in 2018 and No. 7 in doubles.
Haunted by injury again in 2023
Because of the great bounce back of Novak Djokovic, the fast rise of the next generation players such as the Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz and the Iga Swiatek, 2022 was regarded as a great year for tennis.
Fans and players alike closed the year with very high expectations for 2023. However, for Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu, her bad streak with injuries seem to have followed her into 2023.
On the 5th of January 2023, Raducanu was posting a good game against Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova in Auckland, New Zealand. However, she was unable to hold against the Slovakian in the second set due to injury. She left the court in tears.
In April 2023, Raducanu was forced to withdraw from the Madrid Open a couple of hours before she could get on the court for her first match. An injury on her right hand forced her out. She had hoped to use this to turn around her past three defeats of 2023, but alas, it was not to happen.
Following this, The Guardian reported that she would drop out of the list of the top 100.
After what looked like a great 2021 for Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu, the following two years have not been good to her. She has been haunted off the tennis court with injury after injury, and often, not even making it to the match court.
In October 2022, Raducanu was listed as the world’s most marketable athlete and was placed ahead of Rafael Nadal and Neymar. Her star still hasn’t dimmed, and the world is hoping to see a lot of her on the tennis court in future years.