Raducanu’s Australian Open prospects unclear

    Raducanu is ranked 78th in the world

    British number one Emma Raducanu is heading to Melbourne, but her prospects of playing in the Australian Open remain unclear.

    The full extent of the problem is yet to be diagnosed, but the hope is that it is only a minor strain.

    The first Grand Slam of the year starts on 16 January.

    Raducanu, the 2021 US Open champion, had not entered any tournaments next week.

    She began 2023 with victory over teenager Linda Fruhvirtova in her opening match in New Zealand in preparation for the season’s first major.

    But the world number 78 left the court in tears after rolling her ankle during the second set against Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova, with the score 6-0 5-7. She later criticised the “slippery” courts.

    Raducanu’s 2022 season was plagued by injury as she retired from five matches, but in December she had said she was feeling “good”.

    She reached the second round at the 2022 Australian Open on her debut at the tournament, losing in three sets to Danka Kovinic.

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