Emma Raducanu highlighs her priority, addresses fitness update & BJK Cup availability

Raducanu reveals her priority ahead of her return to action in Indian Wells.

by Dzevad Mesic
Emma Raducanu highlighs her priority, addresses fitness update & BJK Cup availability
© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Emma Raducanu reveals results aren't actually her main priority right now as the 21-year-old wants to use the 2024 season to develop and improve after undergoing multiple surgeries last year. 

After winning the 2021 US Open as a qualifier and becoming a Grand Slam champion in a historic way, Raducanu battled numerous injuries and setbacks in the next two and a half years - which left her unable to practice and train as much as she would have liked. But since returning to tennis at the start of the 2024 season, Raducanu hasn't felt any pain in her surgically repaired two wrists, nor in her in her operated right ankle. 

So far in her comeback, Raducanu has taken part in four tournaments and she is 3-4. 

"I want to work on becoming a better tennis player," Raducanu told BBC Sport.

"I think for me I'm not too concerned about this year's tournaments.

"A lot of people out there would say that I need matches, but I think that for me I want to work on my game and development.

"Taking time to do that is very necessary and not just following the crowd, or playing a lot of matches, or dropping down [to Challenger level] to do that. I want to work on developing skills."

Emma Raducanu and coach Nick Cavaday
Emma Raducanu and coach Nick Cavaday© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Raducanu: It was good for me to refresh

After kicking off her 2024 comeback in Auckland and then also competing at the Australian Open, Raducanu also appeared in two tournaments during the Middle East swing last month. At a WTA 500 tournament in Abu Dhabi, Raducanu lost to Ons Jabeur in the round-of-16, before being bounced by Anhelina Kalinina in the Doha first round the following week. 

Following a 0-6 6-7 (6) loss to Kalinina in Doha - which was undoubtedly by far Raducanu's worst performance of the year - the Briton announced she would not play Dubai the following week but would instead return home to rest and practice. Ahead of her return to action at this week's Indian Wells, Raducanu admits she benefited from returning home because she was "fatigued."

"It's just a bit of a journey for me, I would say, you don't really know what to expect after being out for eight months," Raducanu admitted. 

"I felt like because I was so go-go-go since December, I felt like I became a little fatigued, so it was good to go back, freshen up and practice for the American swing, which I'm a big fan of."

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Raducanu seemingly makes herself available for the BJK Cup 

In 2022 April, Raducanu made her Billie Jean King Cup debut when Great Britain took on the Czech Republic in the qualifiers. Later that year, Raducanu wasn't available for the British team during the BJK Cup Finals. 

Last year, Raducanu skipped Great Britain's BJK Cup qualifiers tie against France. As the reason behind that, Raducanu cited that the tie was played on hard while she had to compete on the clay courts of Stuttgart the following week. In November, Raducanu didn't represent during the BJK Cup Finals - but it should be noted that she was recovering from three surgeries at the time. 

This year, Great Britain has again been drawn to play France in the BJK Cup qualifiers. But this time, France will be hosting Great Britain and the tie will be played on clay. 

"I don't know if I'll get the call-up," Raducanu said.

"But if she (British team captain Anne Keothavong) asks me to, I think it makes sense because it's before Stuttgart (which is also) on indoor clay."

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Meanwhile, Raducanu's focus is currently on her upcoming Indian Wells campaign. 

When the Indian Wells draw was released earlier this week, wildcard Raducanu learned that she would be meeting a qualifier in the first round. On Tuesday, the qualifying in Indian Wells was completed and it was revealed that Rebeka Masarova would be Raducanu's opening opponent in the desert. When Raducanu and world No. 96 meet, it will be the first time that they will be playing against each other.

Heading into the match, Masarova is certainly not the toughest opponent that Raducanu could have drawn. But Masarova already playing and winning two matches in Indian Wells is certainly an advantage for the Spaniard, who is certainly by now well-adjusted to the playing conditions in the desert. 

However, it should be noted that Raducanu has also been in Indian Wells for a couple of days now, practicing and preparing for the tournament. 

It remains to be seen if being fresh can help Raducanu make a strong Indian Wells run. 

Emma Raducanu Indian Wells