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Emma Raducanu 'hopeful' of being fit for Australian Open

Emma Raducanu 'hopeful' of being fit for Australian Open
© Reuters
British number one Emma Raducanu is still hopeful of being fit for the Australian Open, despite sustaining an ankle injury at the ASB Classic last week.

British number one Emma Raducanu is still optimistic about her chances of playing in the Australian Open despite an ankle injury.

The 20-year-old sustained the issue after slipping on the court during her ASB Classic second-round match with Viktoria Kuzmova, retiring before the start of the third set.

Raducanu left the court in tears, and fears were immediately raised over the possibility of the former US Open champion missing the first Grand Slam of the year, which begins on January 16.

Despite her injury, Raducanu has travelled to Melbourne in the hope that her ankle will have recovered in time for the Australian Open, and she is only thought to be suffering from a minor sprain.

Speaking to Tennis Australia, Raducanu expressed her hope that she would be able to compete in the opening major of 2023, saying: "It was really unfortunate last week.

"I was feeling great about my season, feeling really good about the preparation I did physically. I just had an accident on the court and there was nothing really that I could have done to prevent that.

"I'm just taking it a day at a time, every single day trying as best as possible to see and make progress. Hopefully by Monday or when the tournament starts I'll be ready. We're just taking it a day at a time and trying not to expect too much."

Emma Raducanu poses with her MBE on November 29, 2022© Reuters

Raducanu hit out at the "slippery" courts after damaging her ankle at the ASB Classic, although Nicolas Lamperin denied suggestions that the playing surface was unsafe.

The Brit, who was plagued by multiple injury problems during the 2022 season, defeated Sloane Stephens in the first round of the 2022 Australian Open before bowing out to Danka Kovinic.

Should Raducanu ultimately be forced to miss the Australian Open, she would join a list of several notable names to withdraw from the first Grand Slam of the season, with Venus Williams and Carlos Alcaraz out through injury.

Two-time finalist Williams - who was defeated by sister Serena Williams in the 2003 and 2017 showpiece events - had accepted a wildcard into the event before withdrawing over the weekend.

Meanwhile, current world number one Alcaraz has had to withdraw after sustaining a leg injury in training, meaning that defending champion Rafael Nadal will enter as the men's top seed.

Naomi Osaka, who won the women's singles title in 2019 and 2021 but has been suffering from mental health struggles, has also pulled out for unexplained reasons.

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