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Emma Raducanu claims players ‘get the short end of the stick’

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Emma Raducanu claims players ‘get the short end of the stick’ with frequent ball changes

Emma Raducanu has called for something to be done about frequent ball changes on tour, with the Brit providing an update on her fitness ahead of a return to the matchcourt.

Raducanu has not played since the Madrid Open back in April, after electing to skip Roland Garros to focus on the grass court season.

The 21-year-old spoke to press at the Nottingham Open yesterday about how managing her body also played a big part in this decision, after undergoing surgeries to both wrists and her left ankle last year.

“It was important for me to take time to transition onto the grass because the balls over the grass season are heavy,” explained Raducanu. “I feel like the conditions are just getting slower and slower on the grass courts. Especially for myself having had wrist surgeries, I just needed to prioritise the transition.”

Raducanu spent eight months on the injury sidelines last year after her surgery, that included missing Wimbledon, and the former world No.10 suggested that frequent ball changes on tour are causing more wrist injuries.

“I think wrists are always very delicate and I think especially with how the tour is right now, and the fact we have to change balls every single week pretty much, and they don’t regulate the ball,” said Raducanu.

The 2021 US Open champion continued, “I’m not the only one with wrist issues. I’m probably just the one who’s had them most publicly. So, I think for me it’s definitely a factor where I have to miss certain events because either the conditions or the balls just don’t favour my situation.

“And it is hard as they are trying to make the points longer and tennis more interesting. But I guess players do get the short end of the stick in that sense and hopefully something can be done about that.”

While Raducanu is being careful with her schedule, the current No.209 appeared positive about her fitness and admitted that her wrists are ‘in a better position than they ever were’.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” revealed Raducanu. “I feel really strong. I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery.

“I’m in a really fit place. I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension.”

Raducanu will begin her grass court season later today at the Nottingham Open, where she played her first ever main tour WTA event back in 2021, taking on qualifier Ena Shibahara in the first round.

Inside the baseline…

It is understandable that Emma Raducanu is being cautious with her body after such a lengthy spell on the sidelines last year, and wrists can be very tricky to manage. Raducanu is one of many players to make links to the ball changes and increasing wrist injuries, with the issue needing to be properly addressed by both the ATP and WTA Tours. Putting that all aside, it will be great to see the 2021 US Open champion back on the British grass, where it all started for her back in 2021.


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