Emma Raducanu is left in TEARS during US Open practice session as she struggles just days ahead of her first-round match… with the reigning champion having suffered with blisters since last year’s incredible triumph
- Emma Raducanu was pictured in tears during her US Open practice session
- The defending champion seemed to be suffering from an recurring hand injury
- She was able to gather herself and carry on training ahead of her title defence
- Raducanu crashed out of the Australian Open in January due to ‘finger blisters’
Emma Raducanu was left distressed and in tears during a US Open practice session, as she looked to be suffering from a wrist injury just days before her title defence in New York.
The 19-year-old, who was pictured with tape on her fingers, twice stopped during practice at Flushing Meadows to share tearful conversations with coach Dmitry Tursunov before pushing through the session.
Having suffered from hand injuries already this year, Raducanu crashed out of the Australian Open after ‘finger blisters’ caused her to endure a three-set loss to Danka Kovinic in January.
And now the tennis star seems to be in some discomfort once again, this time with her wrist, ahead of her first round clash against Alize Cornet on Monday.
Having triumphed at Flushing Meadows last year, the teenager heads into the 2022 US Open as the 11th seed, while Cornet is ranked 37th in the world.
From the pictures of her practice on Tuesday, it is apparent that Raducanu is suffering from pain in the same hand – her forehand and dominant serving hand – that she injured during the Australian Open.
She had some fingers strapped and had tape on her right wrist – both issues she is contending with after a long season.
Emma Raducanu was left in tears during her US Open practice session at Flushing Meadows
The defending champion was seen sharing a tearful conversation with coach Dmitry Tursunov
Whilst the blisters did not force her to retire or bow out of the competition through injury, the Brit ultimately winced through her defeat to Kovinic, unable to deliver a forceful forehand throughout the match.
It is unclear if blistering was the dominant issue hampering her practice on Friday or if it is a more worrying issue days out from her opening match.
Speaking from Melbourne on how the blistering of her hand affected her game, she said: ‘It’s just the position of it. It’s right in the crease of the palm, it’s so deep.
‘I just can’t grip the racket. Like every time I hit, every time I make contact with the ball, it creates an impact.
‘If I hit one slightly off centre and the racket moves a bit in my hand, it’s even more friction and it rips again. So it’s very painful, every single shot I hit’
The British teenager holds a conversation at the back of the court to address her discomfort
She briefly left the practice court before returning to complete the rest of her practice session
More recently, blisters played a role in her bowing out of the Cincinnati Open at the quarter-final stage to Ludmilla Samsonova.
Having navigated a gruelling three-hour match against Camila Osorio earlier in the tournament – in which she required a medical time-out to have blisters looked at – Raducanu looked somewhat out of sorts against Samsonova, making 24 unforced errors.
During that 7-6, 6-1 defeat, cameras picked up Raducanu appearing to blow on her hands, still feeling the effects of the Osorio win.
Speaking about blistering after the Osorio win, she said: ‘At the beginning of the match I was alright, then throughout the match my skin was just ripping off.
‘In the beginning, there was like a flap, but then the flap got ripped off and it was pretty raw and open.’