Emma Raducanu allays Wimbledon injury fears ahead of her first Centre Court appearance
Emma Raducanu has declared she’s “ready to go” as she prepared for her first ever appearance on Centre Court at Wimbledon. After retiring from the Nottingham Open with an abdominal injury, there were doubts over whether the British No 1 would be fit to play at SW19. But in a press conference on Friday, she alleviated any fears ahead of her first round match with Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck.
And the news means those with tickets on the showpiece court will have a Monday to remember, with men’s defending champion Novak Djokovic opening up proceedings. He’ll be followed by Raducanu, with the final berth reserved for another British star, Andy Murray.
Raducanu’s participation seemingly hung in the balance after she withdrew just seven games into her last match with Viktorija Golubic in Nottingham, having struggled with an acute abdominal injury. Rumours of her potentially withdrawing from her ‘home’ Grand Slam were then exacerbated on Friday, when she missed a scheduled practice session.
However speaking to reporters less than 48 hours before the tournament gets underway, the teenager brushed aside any concerns: “This week was a good build up,” she said. “There were moments early in the week where we weren’t sure but now we’re here it’s full-stream ahead. Right now I’m fit I’m pain free and ready to go.
“I have been managing the injury since Nottingham and took two weeks off. Yesterday we had to react to the situation. I had practiced in the morning so we took the collective decision to pass on the afternoon session.”
Since her remarkable US Open win last September, where she became the first player in history to win win a Grand Slam as a qualifier, Raducanu has endured mixed fortunes in terms of form and fitness. But when she asked what the nine-month period had taught her, she replied: “That I’m resilient. Fall down 10 times and get up 11. The only way to move us forward.”