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Emma Raducanu 'travelling to Melbourne despite ankle injury'

Emma Raducanu 'travelling to Melbourne despite ankle injury'
© Reuters
Emma Raducanu is reportedly on her way to Melbourne for the Australian Open, but her participation in the Grand Slam remains uncertain due to her ankle injury.

British number one Emma Raducanu is reportedly hopeful that the ankle injury she sustained at the ASB Classic will not keep her out of the upcoming Australian Open.

The 20-year-old slipped and rolled her ankle during her second-round match with Viktoria Kuzmova in Auckland and left the court in tears as she retired from the contest.

Following the exit of Raducanu - who has been bedevilled by numerous injuries since winning the US Open in 2021 - fears were immediately raised over her chances of playing at the Australian Open.

The first Grand Slam tournament of the year begins on January 16, but according to BBC Sport, Raducanu's team are hopeful that she has only suffered a minor strain or sprain.

The report adds that the extent of the damage is yet to be determined, but she will nonetheless travel to Melbourne with the hope that she can compete at the major tournament.

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

Raducanu kicked off her year in fine fashion with a 4-6 6-4 6-2 win over Linda Fruhvirtova in the opening round of the ASB Classic, coming back from a set and a break down to triumph.

The Brit was forced to retire at 6-0 5-7 against Kuzmova, having called the trainer out onto the court prior to the third set before her emotional exit from the tournament.

The Hobart International and Adelaide International 2 will serve as the final WTA warm-up tournaments for the Australian Open next week, but Raducanu has not entered either one.

The 20-year-old took aim at the state of the courts following her injury in Auckland, telling New Zealand website "The courts are incredibly slick, like very slippery, so to be honest it's not a surprise that this happened to someone.

"Auckland overall, it rained a lot this week, so I didn't get to see much and I thought maybe certain aspects could have been organised better, but overall I had pleasant support.

Britain's Emma Raducanu acknowledges the crowd after losing her first round match against France's Alize Cornet© Reuters

"It's out of my control and after a very long day of waiting around. But we'll assess over the next few days and see what the next steps are. It's difficult to take. I've put a lot of physical work in the last few months and have been feeling good and optimistic.

"So to be stopped by a freak injury, rolling an ankle, is pretty disappointing, in the first week as well. I thought I was playing some pretty decent tennis."

However, tournament director Nicolas Lamperin has refuted Raducanu's claims of the courts being unsafe, telling 1News: "The courts have been checked and we've had a number of matches on the indoor courts.

"We haven't had an injury apart from yesterday. As far as the tournament is concerned, with the support of the referee and the supervisor, we are able to play and use this court.

"I want to make sure she's okay, this is my number one priority. It's 10 days ahead of the Australian Open. She's coming from a season with a lot of injuries so of course this is something which creates frustration. We will have a discussion whether it's with her or her management for sure and we'll take it from there."

Raducanu reached the second round of the 2022 Australian Open, beating Sloane Stephens before losing in three sets to Montenegro's Danka Kovinic.

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Emma Raducanu pictured at the French Open on May 23, 2022
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