EMMA RADUCANU has suffered a Wimbledon injury scare after she was forced to retire from the Nottingham Open.
The Kent ace’s first appearance in the country since that mind-boggling US Open triumph was overshadowed by worrying fitness concerns that occurred after just THREE GAMES.
And British fans hoping to see her at SW19 in less than three weeks will be keeping their fingers tightly crossed she will make it following this latest withdrawal in her first match on grass this summer.
The 19-year-old – who has had several physical problems since that Fairy Tale in New York – was unable to continue and had to quit the first-round clash against Viktorija Golubic after just seven games.
Even in the first game of the match, in which she was broken by the world No.55 from Switzerland, Raducanu could be seen putting her hand to her left side.
At the first changeover, she called for the trainer to asses her problem and appeared to pop some painkillers in her chair.
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During a three-minute medical timeout, Raducanu laid horizontally on a towel on the grass and received treatment on the troublesome area with her left arm also getting massaged.
Though she was able to break Golubic in the next game, it was the serve that was the problem – side strains are usually aggravated during a serving motion.
In the next two changeovers, Raducanu received yet more attention and it was obvious she was struggling by this point.
From 3-1 up, Raducanu soon found herself 4-3 down and she decided to walk away rather than made the issue worse.
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This is the latest in a growing list of ailments that have affected her matches, fitness and performance.
There has been a bout of illness, a positive Covid test, hand and feet blisters, a stiff back and hip inflammation.
Raducanu feared she might not make the French Open – she was defeated in the second round by Belarussian Aliaksandra Sasnovich – after withdrawing from the Italian Open in Rome last month with back pain.
The world No.11 has increased her gym work in an attempt to strengthen her muscles but it is clear she is not yet ready for the day-to-day rigours of the WTA Tour.
This is her third retirement since the US Open Final and her appearance on court only last 35 minutes.
Viktorija Golubic said: “I’m a little bit shocked. I am still in my match focus and bubble.
“I didn’t expect this to happen. I feel sorry for Emma. I was looking forward to a tough challenge.
“This Centre Court is really beautiful. I wanted to stay on it. It is unfortunate it has ended like this. It is a sad way to finish and I hope she recovers.”
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