"I was struggling a bit with my back. I went into the match with it...it's kind of just taking its toll..." no. 11, Emma Raducanu described her health condition in the second round loss in Madrid. The Bromley, England teen and last year's US Open champion is trying her best to make it through each tournament; but win or lose it seems that the Brit always gets an injury as a result.
She had came on like a bolt of lightning as she'd win the 2021 US Open and hearts of all over the world tennis lovers. Raducanu's defeat of Leylah Fernandez in straight sets was a windfall that many though should have continued with various opponent for a good part of the year's tour.
But things never seemed to become that consistent leaving the tennis community in doubt of the British young woman's talents. "Everything has gone very, very fast here in the span of a few weeks..." Emma had professed after winning the US Open title.
Tournaments brought high expectations for the Brit who began having problems fulfilling. She had demanded that everyone give her time to gain consistency, but then the injuries had started to surface after hard-fough matches; some matches would produce wins, while others - straight set losses.
Frustration and tension began to built for the British teen. Emma had defeated Sloane Stephens at the Australian Open but lost to Daria Saville at the Guadalajara Open, retiring with a hip injury before the match was ended.
Indian Wells she'd started suffering with back problems again. But managed to get the win over France's Caroline Garcia in the opening round. She'd lose to Petra Martic with the next round but was determined to continue playing all the while thinking consistency and success would come.
The Billie Jean King Cup Emma developed blisters on her feet as well as on her hands in previous tournaments. Raducanu did well in Stuttgart making it to the quarterfinals against Iga Swiatek but didn't come out on the winning circle.
The Brit remained optimistc when she entered the Madrid Open. Raducanu's underlying previous injuries weren't bad enough to hinder her winning the opening match with Tereza Martincova in straight sets or the second round with Marta Kostyuk another straight set win.
But it was the third round that gave Raducanu the problems. "I would have given myself a 5% chance of winning that match..." Emma explained. It was her back situation again the flared up causing her to have a timeout near the end of the first set with Anhelina Kalinina.
As the Brit would get a few games, Kalinina would come climbing up, a healthier body of the two and before long Emma was done and glad to have finished the match. "I think we both played very good quality," Kalinina had said but went on to wommnet onhow she feels her capture of the win happened.
"I appreciate in this moment I was maybe luckier and did better in the decisive points. Raducanu has re-evaluated her play and doesn't feel she did terrible, but being aggressive on court for her has its advantages and disadvantages.
She may be winning point and games on being aggressive but wonders if her body will hold up time and again without injury. Special tournaments or monthly ones will come but Emma must ask herself if playing at a super high level, will leave consequences for her later on her health and body? No one can predict the result, but the British teen is now playing without a coach and has to make up her own mind on how long that will go on or getting added injuries after every tournament.
Time will only tell if the injuries are only temporary and hopefully they won't return to interrupt her success every time on court.