BREAKING NEWS: Emma Raducanu PULLS OUT of the Madrid Open with a hand injury – and could now lose her top-100 ranking – hours after her bizarre 58-word interview
- Emma Raducanu was due to face Bulgaria’s Viktoriya Tomova on Wednesday
- Latest set-back is another blow to a difficult season for the 2021 US Open winner
Emma Raducanu on Wednesday pulled out of her scheduled first round match at the Madrid Open, citing a problem with her right hand.
The British No 1 may now fall out of the top 100 as she will lose the points gained from reaching the third round at the Caja Magica twelve months ago.
Raducanu was due to play Bulgaria’s Viktoriya Tomova on the main Manolo Santana Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, but did not appear on the practice schedules during the morning.
It is the latest setback for the 2021 US Open champion in what is turning out to be another difficult season.
On Tuesday, looking somewhat drawn, she gave a brusque preview interview on the tournament’s media day, giving monosyllabic answers to relatively anodyne questions, and there was no mention of any specific problem with her hand.
Emma Raducanu has pulled out of the Madrid Open following an injury to her right hand
It comes shortly after stonewalling reporters, with just 58 words in response to 16 questions
She is due to play at the Italian Open in Rome the weekend after next ahead of Roland Garros, although little is known of her latest physical problem.
She has managed only ten matches so far this season, accumulating a 5-5 record and could now even require a wildcard to enter Wimbledon.
There had been concerns over the British star heading into the tournament following her interactions with the media on Tuesday
That much was evident in counting up the number of words she managed – 58 – in response to sixteen questions on Tuesday. They were asked, politely, by the two writers from the UK who had ventured out for the opening of what is one of the biggest events on the calendar outside the Grand Slams.
By the end of an awkward encounter that lasted less than three minutes you could only deduce that the strain of defending her top 100 status is starting to tell. And you could most definitely conclude that the novelty of dealing with the likes of us has worn off.
It is a far cry from her positive interactions with the media after her shock US Open win in 2021
Entering a largely deserted mixed zone it quickly became obvious that Emma, looking somewhat drawn, had bayonets fixed.
Gentle questions about her physical state met with monosyllabic answers. An attempt to put some gloss on her last two defeats failed to lighten the atmosphere.
Not long into this futile exercise the duty chaperone from the WTA Tour abandoned the baffling proceedings, and we were left to turn our attention to other players who were dutifully coming in to fulfil their responsibilities, such as Andy Murray.
It should be said that Raducanu, intelligent and normally articulate, has generally handled this side of her job with aplomb until now.