‘Reborn’ Emma Raducanu aiming to reignite career on injury return


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‘Reborn’ Emma Raducanu aiming to reignite career on injury return

UPSET. Emma Raducanu reacts to a point in her match against Serena Williams at the Cincinnati Open.

Susan Mullane/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Former US Open champion and world No. 10 Emma Raducanu - now just 298th after a slew of injuries and operations - prepares for a 2024 comeback at the Auckland Classic

Britain’s Emma Raducanu said she feels “reborn” as the former US Open champion prepares to return to action at next week’s Auckland Classic following ankle and wrist surgeries.

The 21-year-old missed much of 2023 after operations on both wrists and an ankle but will return to Auckland with a protected ranking a year after she exited the tournament in tears having rolled her ankle during a second round match.

“Yeah, I feel reborn in a way. I feel fresh, I feel ready, I feel happy and I feel excited,” Raducanu told reporters on Saturday.

Raducanu is now ranked 298th in the world, having slipped from a career high No. 10 in July 2022.

She missed out on a wildcard for the Australian Open which begins on January 14 and will have to take a similar path as her 2021 Flushing Meadows run, when she became the first player in the Open Era to win a major after coming through qualifying.

She said she no longer felt weighed down by the expectations that followed her New York triumph.

“Overall, I’m feeling positive and lighter. I think that for two years after the US Open I felt maybe a bit more weight on my shoulders, but now I feel completely fresh,” Raducanu said.

Raducanu has not crossed the second round of a Grand Slam since her Flushing Meadows triumph and has come in for her fair share of criticism but said she was happy to be fit and ready to compete again.

“It’s nice not to have three casts on you,” she added. “So just moving around and showering, (doing) everything you really appreciate, being able to do your own hair, stuff like that.

“I’m just happy to be back playing.”

The Auckland Classic will begin on Monday, January 1. –

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