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Raducanu forced to retire at the Italian Open

Emma Raducanu crashed out Italian Open


Emma Raducanu was struck by further injury problems when she was forced to pull out of the Italian Open in the second set of her first round match.

The British No 1 was trailing in an intriguing match-up against Canada’s Bianca Andreescu with the score at 6-2, 2-1 when she shook hands and quit.

Raducanu had been complaining of lower back problems, which she also reported at the Madrid Open last week.

She called on the WTA Tour physio at 5-2 down against Andreescu and left the court for a lengthy medical timeout, before retiring four games later after being heard saying: ‘I can’t move.’

Tim Henman, working for Amazon Prime, said that he feels Raducanu needs to re-examine her team – potentially in terms of fitness rather than coaching, which is the area that gains more attention.

‘I feel she needs a bit more support than she has right now,’ he said.

‘When things are going well it’s not that difficult — dealing with adversity is more challenging.’

Raducanu now has less than two weeks to get herself right for Roland Garros, after which she will attack the grass.

She had been struggling to cope with the powerful strokes of Andreescu in what were slower and heavier conditions in Rome than last week in Madrid.

Andreescu is a fellow US Open champion, having won in New York in 2019, since when she has struggled with long-term knee problems.

The Canadian’s form has been steadily improving and her ball-striking was a reminder of how she once won the Flushing Meadows title.

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Raducanu struck it well enough when in position but looked to be slightly restricted in her rotation.

‘I expected it to be a tougher match but she is dealing with something so I hope she’s ok,’ said Andreescu afterwards.

Earlier her male counterpart Cam Norrie made it through to the second round of the men’s event when he defeated Italian wildcard Luca Nardi 6-4, 6-4. He will now face former US Open champion Marin Cilic.




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