Emma Raducanu twice halted her practice session at the US Open on Friday as she fought back tears in a scare before the defence of her title – but later claimed she had “no concerns” about her fitness. The British No 1 became the first qualifier to ever win a Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows last year.
But the Kent teenager has been dogged by injuries since – including suffering from blisters at the Australian Open. And she said after her latest injury worry: “It’s just one of those weird days where you feel a bit like nothing.”
Raducanu first stopped her training session with Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova after about 40 minutes. The 19-year-old was comforted by her coach Dmitry Tursunov and her physio Will Herbert. She was clearly in discomfort and looking away from the small crowd who had gathered to watch her play.
Tursunov, who is on trial as Raducanu’s latest coach, then hit with Alexandrova until the world No 11 returned to play. Five minutes later Raducanu ran off the court to the locker room and was followed by Herbert and her agent Chris Helliar.
Raducanu’s fellow Briton Andy Murray is backing her title defence. The two-time Wimbledon champion said: “I think she played really well last week. I watched a couple of her matches.
“I saw most of the match against Serena [Williams] and then the one against Jessica Pegula,” Murray said. “Even though she lost that one she is playing much better.
“The balls they use over here help a lot, they are a lot lighter, the women’s ball. That allows her to get more on her shots, on her serves, she seems like she enjoyed the conditions last week. I’d imagine with it being quick here in New York she will enjoy them. I’d expect her to play well next week.”