LONDON (AFP) – Emma Raducanu’s Wimbledon preparations were thrown into turmoil after the US Open champion was forced to retire from her Nottingham Open first round match yesterday.
Raducanu needed a medical timeout in the early stages of her clash with Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic after suffering an injury.
The 19-year-old Briton received treatment on her left side and took painkillers in an attempt to carry on, but had to pull out after just 33 minutes while trailing 4-3 in the first set.
It was the third time Raducanu had withdrawn from a tournament due to injury since she burst onto the tennis scene with her stunning US Open triumph in September last year.
The world number 11 also bowed out of matches in Guadalajara in February and Rome in May with injuries.
The latest retirement will raise further questions about Raducanu’s fitness as she continues to struggle with the physical demands of life on the WTA Tour.
She is due to play in Birmingham next week, but doubts about her participation at Wimbledon are certain to increase ahead of the start of the grass-court Grand Slam on June 27.
Raducanu, who made her WTA debut at Nottingham 12 months ago, has not won more than two matches at a tournament since her remarkable journey from the qualifying rounds to the title at the United States (US) Open.
In her first match on British soil since that astonishing victory at Flushing Meadows, the signs of discomfort were there early on as Raducanu was seen holding her side in the opening game of the match.
Her first round of treatment came at the first change of ends and although she was able to open a 3-1 lead, it was clear she was in pain and called time having lost three games in a row.