Emma Raducanu leaves more questions than answers after returning to tennis court

Emma Raducanu teaches tennis lesson from 4,000 miles away

Emma Raducanu was spotted on court at the National Tennis Centre this week, but fans are still none the wiser about when she will make her long-awaited return from injury. The former US Open champion is yet to sign up for any of the tournaments taking place early in 2024 despite pledging to come back in time for next season.

Raducanu’s 2023 campaign ended when she opted to undergo surgery on both of her wrists and one of her ankles. The Brit’s last competitive match was back in April, when she was comfortably seen off by Jelena Ostapenko in Stuttgart.

The latest hint that Raducanu could be on the cusp of a return emerged this weekend, when she was pictured and filmed at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.

But her appearance still leaves supporters with more questions than answers, as no concrete return date has been made public by the 21-year-old.

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Raducanu was due to appear at an exhibition event alongside Daria Kasatkina and Wang Xinyu this month. However, the youngster pulled out, and she is yet to put her name to any of the tournaments scheduled for the early stages of the 2024 season.

The United Cup is first up, starting on December 29, while the Brisbane International will take place in early January. Raducanu fans will hope that she finds an opportunity to get up to speed before the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open, begins later that month.

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Raducanu first burst onto the scene by making it to the Wimbledon fourth round in 2021, and she made shockwaves by winning the US Open at Flushing Meadows in the same year. Despite concerns over whether she will be able to rediscover that level of form, the former world No.10 insists that a prolonged absence from the court has done her good.

“Through the whole period, I’ve been doing a lot off court, reading a lot and watching some tennis,” she told Amazon Prime. “Mentally, I feel like I’m in a better place to compete now than I ever have been before since the US Open. I just really wanted to expand what I do off the court because obviously when you’re playing you have little to no time to do anything.

“So it was nice to have some time to learn new skills and do things I’d never done or tried before. At the end of the day, I’m itching to get back on court. I’m hoping to get back on board for next season.

“I know it’s going to be difficult when you haven’t competed for a long time, like almost a year. It’s going to probably take me some tournaments to get up to speed. But, once I do, I think I’m in a better headspace to compete now.”

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