April 18, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

What a difference a year makes for Emma Raducanu

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – A year ago in the California desert, 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu had both her wrists wrapped so tightly, it was impressive that she could hold a racquet at all.

She told Open Court then that they were trying various things, to “spread the load” on the wrists in hopes of reducing the pain and inflammation.

It certainly didn’t look good at all. And yet, somehow, she defeated Danka Kovinic, Magda Linette (No. 21) and Beatriz Haddad Maia (No. 13) in succession before going down to world No. 1 Iga Swiatek.

Here’s what we wrote back then.

After trying again in Miami and playing a good match in defeat to Bianca Andreescu in the first round, and trying one last time in Stuttgart – a tournament sponsored by her personal sponsor, Porsche – that was it for the year.

She had surgeries on her wrists and ankle.

And now, a year after it was clear something had to give, she’s back in the desert ranked No. 250, on a wild card. Perhaps a blessing is that the expectations surrounding her – once so lofty because of her precocious, premature and unexpected success – have pretty much died down.

Overall, Raducanu has played pretty well so far in 2024, and lost to good players often in great form.

Here’s what she looked like on the practice court in the desert on Tuesday.

Thursday’s first-round match is against qualifier Rebeka Masarova, a hard-hitting Swiss-turned-Spaniard who looks like a younger Pliskova cousin.

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