‘I am rejuvenated’: Emma Raducanu prepared to make a comeback to tennis following a series of injury setbacks.

Emma Raducanu shared that she feels like a new person as she gets set to make her comeback at the Auckland Classic next week following surgeries on her ankle and wrists. The 21-year-old, now ranked 298th in the world, underwent the operations last season, causing her to miss a significant portion of the year. Raducanu hasn’t played on the WTA Tour since her loss to Jelena Ostapenko in Stuttgart back in April.
“Yeah, in a way, I feel like I’ve been given a fresh start. I feel energized, prepared, happy, and thrilled,” Raducanu expressed. “All in all, I have a positive outlook and feel much lighter.”
Raducanu will be returning to Auckland with a protected ranking, a year after an unfortunate ankle injury resulted in her emotional exit from the tournament. She added, “After the US Open, I think I carried a bit more weight on my shoulders for two years, but now I feel completely rejuvenated.”
Having secured a career-high world ranking of No. 10 in July 2022, Raducanu did not receive a wildcard entry for the Australian Open, which starts on January 14. She will have to go through the qualifying rounds, just as she did during her historic title-winning run at Flushing Meadows in 2021.
Since her victory in New York, the former British No. 1 has not progressed beyond the second round of a Grand Slam. However, she is pleased to be fit and ready to compete once again in New Zealand starting from Monday, following her recovery from multiple surgeries. “It’s great not to have three casts on, being able to move around and shower, and appreciating the simple things like doing your own hair. I’m just happy to be back on the court,” she added.
Naomi Osaka, who is eagerly anticipating her return to tennis at the Brisbane International, mentioned feeling more confident about her personal growth. Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion, including two Australian Open titles, took a break to prioritize her mental health. The 26-year-old last competed on the WTA Tour in late September 2022 and gave birth to a daughter in July this year.
“I feel like I’m more self-assured now,” shared Osaka. “In the past, I never really engaged in conversations with other players, and I think I had built a significant barrier. But now, I find myself interacting with people. It’s truly amazing.”
Osaka, who has been open about her struggles with depression and anxiety, also expressed nervousness about the physical demands of returning to elite tennis. “I didn’t feel like I was in control of my own body. It felt like I was driving the wrong car, if that makes sense,” she explained.
“Slowly but surely, step by step, I put in a lot of hard work to get to where I am now,” added Osaka, who will face Tamara Korpatsch in her first match on Monday. “I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t feel prepared. I didn’t want to let down the people who were excited for my comeback and, most importantly, I didn’t want to disappoint myself.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *