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Emma Raducanu is out of the ASB Classic in Auckland after a retiring hurt in the opening game of the third set of her match with Viktoria Kuzmova. In a contest where momentum fluctuated, the tie was poised at 6-0 5-7 when the Grand Slam winner picked up an ankle injury, casting serious doubt on her participation in this month’s Australian Open.
A quick clash seemed inevitable as Raducanu breezed through the first set 6-0, and then broke serve in the opening game of the second. But Slovakian player Kuzmova responded, breaking the British No 1 twice to take control of the second but at 5-4, and serving to level the match, she faltered and was broken back.
The world No 155 regained her composure though, holding serve before fashioning three set points on Raducanu’s serve. She only needed one of them to force a decider, but then proceedings were halted as Raducanu called for a medical timeout.
After receiving lengthy treatment from the physio for an an ankle injury, the world No 78 as passed fit to continue. But just two points into into her service game, it became clear she was unable to carry on and conceded a walkover.
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And there are now huge question marks as to whether the 20-year-old will be ready for the first Slam of the year, with the action starting at Albert Park on January 16. The problem is the latest in a long line of injury problems for the star, who has been plagued by form and fitness issues since her incredible US Open win in September 2021.
In a bid to build-up her physical fitness, Raducanu recently linked with Andy Murray’s former fitness guru Jez Green. And prior to the ASB event, she had hailed his impact and opened up on the training they’s undertaken: “In the beginning because it’s new and because you’ve been playing tennis all year, you’re quite pumped and motivated to get in the gym so you can do two sessions a day easy and bosh it out like no problem,” she said.
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