Emma Raducanu confirms first post-Wimbledon tournament after Olympics controversy

Raducanu withdrew from the Paris Olympics but she will be playing in late July.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Emma Raducanu confirms first post-Wimbledon tournament after Olympics controversy
© Getty Images Sport - Rob Carr

Emma Raducanu maybe won't be participating at the Paris Olympics but she will be back in action in late July after signing up to compete at a WTA 500 tournament in Washington. 

In mid-June, the British Olympic team announced that Raducanu didn't make herself available for the upcoming Olympics and that move landed criticism and scrutiny upon the 21-year-old as some argued that the 2021 US Open champion simply must have accepted to represent her nation. 

But Raducanu had an explanation for her decision, saying that going from grass to clay after Wimbledon would be too risky considering her injury history. 

However, Raducanu won't rest too much after Wimbledon as she is now scheduled to return to action in Washington, which starts on July 29th.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sport - Patrick Smith
 

When Raducanu kicks off her campaign on the hard courts of Washington, she will be making her second appearance at the tournament. And after doing solid in her Washington debut in 2022 and making the quarterfinal, the former world No. 10 will certainly be hoping to again do well in the US capital and start her North American hard court swing on a positive note.

The tournament also confirmed that Paula Badosa, Anna Kalinskaya, Daria Kasatkina, Madison Keys and Sofia Kenin are expected to play. 

How Raducanu defended herself and what she can expect to happen?

On June 16th - just before Raducanu's Nottingham semifinal versus Katie Boulter - the news broke out about her Olympic decision. The criticism instantly started coming Raducanu's way, and after she lost a three-setter to Boulter, she addressed the issue. 

Speaking to British reporters in Nottingham, Raducanu didn't hide that she wasn't happy to that some were labeling her "a diva." Then, the 21-year-old proceeded to answer why she thought her move was reasonable.

“I’m very single-minded and I do things my own way and at my own time – not in a diva way – but just prioritizing my body and my health because if I’m fit, if I’m giving 100 percent, I know great things are coming,” Raducanu said.

“I just don’t think there’s any need to put additional stress on my body or any risk, especially with my history. It [clay] is more demanding on the body, for sure. It’s more physical, longer points, but I think it’s more just the change, the contrast between clay and grass and then on to the hard… For me, it is not necessary at this point to put my body through that.”

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sport - Patrick Smith
 

During Raducanu's Washington campaign, the Olympics will be played simultaneously and that probably means that the Briton will be constantly remembered for her decision and will deal with some scrutiny. However, she is probably ready to take it since she knew what would happen after pulling out of Paris. 

Raducanu had more for her critics this week in Eastbourne 

On Wednesday, Raducanu has one of the most memorable and special days of her career after beating world No. 5 Jessica Pegula 4-6 7-6 (6) 7-5 for her first-ever win against a top-10 player. 

After the match, Raducanu earned praise and positive reviews as she continued her fine start to the grass season. But Raducanu doing well in Eastbourne also made her Olympic withdrawal even more disappointing to some. 

But Raducanu noted that she wasn't interested in pleasing anybody else other than herself and also made one interesting observation, suggesting that some of her past injuries happened because she was playing some tournaments that she should have skipped.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Kate Green
 

“It’s pretty natural becoming a different person overnight almost with the circumstances, not necessarily myself, at such a young age," Raducanu said.

“It’s easier to get caught up in it and at one point I was chasing playing too many tournaments and then I was just picking up niggle after niggle in every tournament because I never really gave myself any time to do the training. That is something I’ve done a lot better this year.

“Even though I might get challenged or questioned for not playing certain tournaments, like the French Open or the Olympics, that is just part of it, doing things at my own speed and how I want to, rather than how everyone else thinks is best for me.”

Meanwhile, Raducanu's Eastbourne run ended on Thursday with a quarterfinal loss to Daria Kasatkina.

Emma Raducanu Wimbledon Olympics
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