sport news Emma Raducanu is STILL injured and is now world's No 285, yet rakes in ... trends now

sport news Emma Raducanu is STILL injured and is now world's No 285, yet rakes in ... trends now
sport news Emma Raducanu is STILL injured and is now world's No 285, yet rakes in ... trends now

sport news Emma Raducanu is STILL injured and is now world's No 285, yet rakes in ... trends now

Emma Raducanu turns 21 on Monday and, in a parallel universe, she might have been building up to that landmark birthday with a rare appearance playing in the UK.

Had she not been beset by so many hiatuses since winning the US Open she could have lined up in Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup team to face Sweden this weekend at London’s Copper Box.

Had she maintained even just a steady if unspectacular trajectory since her astonishing US Open triumph in 2021, then the interest she generated might have meant a larger venue would be required for this relatively low-key match.

Instead her focus will be on quietly continuing her rehab from three minor surgeries which have prevented her from playing since April, and seen her ranking fall to a humble 285.

Hers have been no ordinary 21 years despite, by tennis standards, the first 18 of them maintaining a sense of normality that concluded with her A-levels. Achieving something so monumental so young would always bring huge challenges, and these are not abating.

Emma Raducanu has not been able to get on the court since April due to reoccurring injuries

Emma Raducanu has not been able to get on the court since April due to reoccurring injuries

Raducanu posted pictures after she underwent wrist surgery to combat her injury issues

Raducanu posted pictures after she underwent wrist surgery to combat her injury issues

The Brit is an ambassador for famous German car brand Porsche and was pictured at Battersea Power Station for an opening event in October

The Brit is an ambassador for famous German car brand Porsche and was pictured at Battersea Power Station for an opening event in October

It is understood that plans for her comeback have fallen behind schedule following a setback in the wrist area about six weeks ago, and it is now highly doubtful that she will play in an exhibition event in Macau that was due to see her return on December 2.

The hope remains that she will be back for the start of next season, in Auckland ahead of the Australian Open, but she has yet to put in any kind of sustained hours on the practice court, restricting herself mainly to gym work and the odd hit with softer balls.

This is being done mainly at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, with the assistance of the Lawn Tennis Association’s general coaching and fitness staff. Insiders report that she cuts a more withdrawn figure these days while going about her business.

Putting a protective shell around herself is perhaps a natural reaction to the massively elevated levels of scrutiny that came after 2021, that summer of a remarkable and so far isolated breakthrough.

There is still no sign of a dedicated coach or support operation in attendance, despite an accumulation of wealth that would make such a team comfortably affordable.

The deeply ambivalent attitude towards coaches by her and her father Ian has been well documented, and her promising relationship with German Sebastian Sachs ended this summer. They were reluctant to keep paying him while she was out of the game after the surgeries to her wrists and ankle in early May.

What has been arguably more baffling to those who genuinely want to see her fulfil a huge potential has been the choice not to employ her own fitness and physio personnel, given her persistent physical problems.

Tim Henman, who was one of the key figures around her dramatic triumph at Flushing Meadows, points to sorting out this baseline necessity.

Raducanu has gone through a succession of five coaches in the last few years as she searches for the right fit

Raducanu has gone through a succession of five coaches in the last few years as she searches for the right fit

Raducanu during her last match against Latvian player Jelena Ostapenko at the Stuttgart Open

Raducanu during her last match against Latvian player Jelena Ostapenko at the Stuttgart Open

The world number 285 lost that match in two sets 6-2, 6-1, and hasn't appeared on court since

The world number 285 lost that match in two sets 6-2, 6-1, and hasn't appeared on court since

‘It is above all about the physical side and building the resilience to stand up to the demands of the tour week in, week out,’ Henman tells Mail Sport.

‘She has always been different with coaches and some people like to do things differently in an individual sport. I have absolutely no doubts about her tennis ability, but it’s the physical side and building that base around you.

‘It is the fundamental requirement in the modern game and she needs to be using this time to create that. Jack Draper (her equally talented British contemporary) has realised the importance of this and you are seeing him reap the benefits.

‘Perhaps she needs to look at what Jack has been doing. Everyone wants her to succeed and you just hope she will make the right choices to achieve what she is capable of. Emma should take her time.’

Henman is just one of the key personnel from that heady fortnight in New York with whom she now has little contact. Coach Andrew Richardson was dropped almost immediately, while Chris Helliar, her agent and confidant from management company IMG, is no longer working with her.

As for physio Will Herbert, who did such a vital job keeping her body together at the US Open, he is now working

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