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Emma Raducanu retires from Italian Open with back injury

Emma Raducanu retires from Italian Open with back injury
© Reuters
Emma Raducanu retires from her Italian Open first-round match with Bianca Andreescu after one hour and five minutes due to her ongoing back injury.

Emma Raducanu's injury woes bedevilled her once again as she was forced to retire from her Italian Open first-round match with Bianca Andreescu with a back problem.

The British number one fought through the problem during the Stuttgart and Madrid Opens but has been forced to take numerous medical timeouts in recent tournaments.

Despite managing to save three break points in the opening game, Raducanu went down 2-6 to Andreescu in the opening set and had to call the trainer over in the final knockings.

However, the US Open champion was quickly broken again in the second set and made the decision to retire while Andreescu was 6-2 2-1 up, with the Canadian advancing after one hour and five minutes.

Raducanu previously told the media that the "intensity and overload" of the year's action and long matches had contributed to her back problem, and the 19-year-old will aim to return to peak physical condition for the upcoming French Open.

Raducanu's withdrawal means that Andreescu is handed a walkover into the second round, where she will meet lucky loser Nuria Parrizas Diaz - Naomi Osaka's replacement.

Cameron Norrie in action at the Madrid Open on May 2, 2022© Reuters

However, there was one good news story for the Brits on Tuesday, as Cameron Norrie saw off teenage starlet Luca Nardi in straight sets 6-4 6-4 to book his spot in round two.

A break in either set did the job for Norrie, who did not enjoy the best of starts against the Italian and was forced to save four break points on the day.

Speaking to Amazon Prime after the win, Norrie said: "I need to clean up a lot of errors. But I was pleased how I turned it around after that start though.

"I came out very, very nervous and very tight for whatever reason. I was just missing a lot of second-serve returns and not playing as aggressive as I would like."

A clash with Marin Cilic now awaits Norrie in the second round, while world number one Novak Djokovic confirmed his place in the third round with ease by beating Aslan Karatsev 6-3 6-2.

Dan Evans's conqueror Nikoloz Basilashvili's run came to an end as he lost out 4-6 6-7 [5-7] to Denis Shapovalov, while David Goffin also eliminated Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets following two tense tiebreaks.

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Dan Evans pictured at the Italian Open on May 9, 2022
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