Australian Open: Webster unimpressed by Raducanu's defeat
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Emma Raducanu has been spotted honing her skills in Singapore after her exit from the Australian Open. The young Brit is currently preparing for her next WTA Tour outing after a disappointing end to her first Grand Slam campaign of 2022.
It was the teenager’s first appearance at a major tournament since shocking the tennis world with her US Open success last September.
And she got off to an ideal start by beating another former New York champion Sloane Stephens in the first round, giving fans hope she might be able to put together another magical run.
It wasn’t to be, though, as she suffered defeat at the hands of Danka Kovinic in round two.
She later revealed she had gone against the advice of some of her team to play, as she was suffering from painful blisters on her racket hand.
After being knocked out of the tournament, Raducanu revealed that she was planning to take a couple of weeks away from competition to catch up on the pre-season she had missed due to a positive Covid test.
“I mean, honestly I just kind of came off court, so I don’t really know,” she said of her upcoming tournament schedule.
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“But I know that after this I’ve got a few weeks where I want to try and do as much of catch up as possible in terms of like fitness and my pre-season, because I missed it actually in December. So try and do a bit of work there.”
She went on to hint that she wants to play at the Indian Wells Masters – one of the biggest non-Slam events on the calendar – in March, but was quiet about her plans before then.
There are some WTA tournaments in the Middle East and Mexico in February in which she could feature if she chooses.
But for now it seems the young Briton is doing as she said she would, and is hitting the practice courts to work on her game before returning to competitive tennis.
Raducanu was spotted by a fan hitting balls at the exclusive Tanglin Club while staying over in Singapore.
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Resident Robbie Hoyes-Cock posted some footage on Facebook of the teenager working on a mixture of forehand and backhand shots.
While she clearly feels it is the right way to prepare for the season ahead, Raducanu has been advised against spending too long away from tournaments by Boris Becker.
The six-time Grand Slam champion believes the Briton would be better off testing herself in competitions.
“I remain a big fan of Emma Raducanu and am still convinced that, in the long run, she has everything it takes to be a multiple winner of majors and a genuine superstar,” he wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
“Her preparations for Australia were interrupted [by Covid] and after her second-round defeat she was hinting that she might go back and put in some extra time training to get herself stronger.
“This slightly worries me because what she needs — both to improve herself physically and to become a better player — is to play more tournaments, not fewer.
“In short, she should be planning on having a busy schedule, throwing herself into the thick of the tour and tackling the smaller and medium-sized events that make up most of the circuit.
“Forget the Grand Slams and what happened last year for a while, what she needs is to build up a bulk of experience and realise there is no substitute for playing matches.
“These are what will make her tennis-fit and give her the know how to compete at her best at the majors.
“There may have been reasons for it but getting blisters on your hand is a sign you have not been competing enough at maximum intensity.
“There is no need for Emma to worry in the long term, she just has to get out there and play.
“Nadal set a good example by playing a smaller event before the Australian Open — so learn from the best.”
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