Watch: Emma Raducanu shows worrying sign ahead of BJK Cup, clay season?

Raducanu may be dealing with an injury after appearing with her calf taped in an LTA video.

by Dzevad Mesic
Watch: Emma Raducanu shows worrying sign ahead of BJK Cup, clay season?
© LTA - X

Emma Raducanu may be dealing with a calf issue going into the Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers and clay season as the 21-year-old was spotted with a tape around her calf while appearing in a video for the LTA. 

After making a successful return from three surgeries at the start of the 2024 season, Raducanu's first couple of tournaments went great in the health aspect as she didn't experience any injuries or physical setbacks. 

In late March, Raducanu suffered her first physical setback of the year after she was forced to skip the Miami Open due to a lower back injury. However, there wasn't much concern about the 2021 US Open champion's back injury a couple of weeks ago because her team was quick to note it wasn't anything too serious. 

This week, Raducanu is slated to return to action when Great Britain takes on France on the clay courts of Rouen on Friday and Saturday. Ahead of the BJK Cup qualifiers tie, the LTA shot a video with Raducanu being the main actor as the former world No. 10 was revealing her serve tips and technique.

In the video posted, Raducanu can be seen with her left calf taped. 

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© LTA - X

Raducanu goes into detail about her service 

While Raducanu appearing with her calf taped may be concerning to some, the 21-year-old Briton sharing her service secrets and tips was definitely an interesting thing to hear. 

"So, second serve I might mix it up a little bit. So, I'll go for a kicker, where I'm trying to brush the ball left to right. And then I might mix it with like a sliced one, body, faster. Throw in a wide one potentially. Trying to get round the outside," Raducanu said in the video.

"First serves maybe, so I flatter one T. I think it's just important to really go up through the shot on this one, not go forward. And then a first wide... Just a lot of speed but up, because you don't want a heavy contact, you want very thin."

Raducanu on how she feels about clay ahead of the upcoming challenges

After taking part in five hard-court tournaments, Raducanu is switching to clay this week and her first action on the dirt will come this weekend when Great Britain takes on France in the BJK Cup qualifiers. A few days later, Raducanu will also officially kick off her clay season at a WTA 500 tournament in Stuttgart, which starts on Monday. 

So far in her career, Raducanu is 5-5 on the WTA level in clay tournaments and she also went 1-1 when Great Britain faced the Czech Republic on clay courts in the 2022 BJK Cup qualifiers.

It is not a secret that the 2021 US Open champion prefers faster surfaces but she claims she is looking forward to the challenge of testing herself on the dirt and trying to do well there. 

"I do love moving on clay, sliding, I find it very fun. It's interesting, I think it's different," Raducanu told the LTA.

"It's not necessarily the surface that I'm most comfortable on or my most preferred surface, but it's something that I enjoy the challenge of."

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sport - Alex Pantling

For Great Britain to have a chance against France in an away tie, they will definitely need an inspired Raducanu. 

Considering that clay is a surface much more preferred by the French team, that's already an advantage for France. Also, France being led by 2022 WTA Finals champion Caroline Garcia and having Karolina Mladenovic confirmed - Garcia and Mladenovic have won multiple Grand Slam titles in doubles - is making the task for Great Britain even tougher. 

Raducanu, who is a part of the British team that also features Katie Boulter, Harriet Dart and Heather Watson, acknowledged that Great Britain is set for a very tough task this weekend.

"It's a super strong team. They have an amazing doubles pair. They have a great singles lineup so they could play anyone they want. They have so many options," Raducanu underlined.

For Raducanu, this will be her first BJK Cup appearance since she represented Great Britain in 2022 April against the Czech Republic. Raducanu may not have much BJK Cup experience on her side but she has a pretty good picture of what she can expect this weekend. 

"Just to have your team on the bench, it's a nice feeling to have them behind you. You can look up to them whenever you are playing or whenever you feel like you need a bit of (support)... It's a good environment," Raducanu explained.

Emma Raducanu