Emma Raducanu has been told that she must build herself up from scratch as she prepares to return to tennis following three surgeries. Former British No 1 Johanna Konta also told Express Sport that the 20-year-old will need to reset as she continues her recovery. It comes as Raducanu will miss the US Open, where she won the title as a qualifier two years ago.
Raducanu made history in Flushing Meadows back in 2021, becoming the first player ever to come through qualifying and lift a Grand Slam title. But the Brit saw mixed results after her unprecedented victory and has been sidelined for the last four months after undergoing two wrist surgeries and one ankle operation.
While the former world No 10 has finally returned to the practice court, she won’t be ready for the US Open. And Konta believes the surgeries offer Raducanu a unique chance to rebrand herself, rather than to “come back”.
Discussing Raducanu’s post-surgery return, the former world No 4 told Express Sport that she had to reset both physically and mentally. “I think right now it’s definitely going to be baby steps more than anything because physically she needs to rebuild and not just rebuild, but build her base,” Konta explained.
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“Because obviously what happened two years ago at the US Open was an incredible feat and she played very well, she really achieved something that was so unpredictable and unexpected.”
Raducanu’s US Open triumph came in just her fourth-ever professional tournament and Konta thought that it likely propelled the 20-year-old to a place she hadn’t been able to get to grips with. The 32-year-old continued: “And I think what was found after was physically, emotionally and mentally she was playing catch-up with the success she achieved that maybe she wasn’t as prepared for.
“So I don’t think it’s necessarily a comeback, I think now more than anything she is going to come, she is going to build. It’s not about coming back to anything because she had those two weeks and then it was actually really hard. It was really messy and hard for her.”
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A four-time title winner, Konta seemed optimistic that Raducanu could use her post-surgery recovery as the foundation for a solid career in the long term. “So I think more than anything it’s about now building her career, not rebuilding,” she added.
“She is now in a position where she can just build out her physicality, her emotional, mental side that comes along with that and I think we’ll see now hopefully a really good, solid career from her.”
The US Open returns exclusively to Sky Sports and NOW with feeds to all courts from 28th August.
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