‘Awkward’ Emma Raducanu press conference cut short at Madrid Open

Emma Raducanu cut a frustrated figure in her pre-tournament press conference looking ahead to the start of the Madrid Open with a WTA official eventually stepping in to bring the call to an abrupt end. The Brit faces an important week in Spain’s capital in her bid to turn her disappointing year around.

Last week’s defeat to Jelena Ostapenko was her third consecutive loss since reaching the fourth round at Indian Wells. She’s won just five matches in total in 2023 so far and has slipped down the rankings once again.

It’s a stark contrast to where Raducanu was this time last year, entering the Madrid Open as the No 9 seed. The 2021 US Open champion managed to reach the third round 12 months ago and will need to go one better to defend her 120 ranking points.

With the French Open and Wimbledon on the horizon, Raducanu will need to ensure she stays inside the top 100 otherwise she’ll be relying on a wildcard entry or going through the qualifiers. But Raducanu was clearly not in the mood for talking ahead of her Madrid Open first-round match against Viktoriya Tomova.

Raducanu was one of the players called for the pre-tournament press conference schedule where 16 questions were posed to her. But she offered just a combined tally of 58 words in response in what the Telegraph described as an ‘awkward’ situation.

When asked about her troublesome wrist injury, Raducanu simply replied: “We’re managing it.” A simple “no” was also said when Raducanu was asked whether she was doing anything different to help manage the issue.

The full exchange lasted less than three minutes before a WTA official stepped in, saying: “I think let’s just leave it there.”

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Raducanu faced Tomova back in 2020 in the final of the W25 Sunderland with the latter winning in three sets. The Bulgarian was the No 1 seed for that tournament, but Raducanu had picked up impressive wins over Clara Tauson, Richel Hogenkamp and Elitsa Kostova on her way to the final that year.

But even if Raducanu can avenge that defeat from three years ago, she faces an almighty task in the second round at the Madrid Open. The British tennis star will come up against Iga Swiatek, just weeks after the two met at Indian Wells.

Raducanu was no match for the world No 1 on that occasion, winning just four games total.

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