Emma Raducanu admits struggles amidst defeat to world No. 30 Anhelina Kalinina

Emma Raducanu US Open champion Qatar Open tennis

The ex-US Open champion is currently in the initial phases of her return, having been sidelined for the majority of 2023 due to surgeries on both hands and her left ankle

Former US Open champion Emma Raducanu is navigating the early stages of her comeback, marked by resilience following a prolonged absence in 2023 due to surgery on both hands and her left ankle.

In her first tournament back, Raducanu secured a noteworthy victory in Auckland, followed by a second-round appearance at the Australian Open.

Emma Raducanu US Open champion Qatar Open tennis

Emma Raducanu US Open champion Qatar Open tennis

Last week in Abu Dhabi, she triumphed over world number 36 Marie Bouzkova. However, her recent success was met with a comprehensive defeat by second seed Ons Jabeur.

Given a wildcard entry in the Qatar Open this week, Raducanu experienced another early exit. Despite holding a set point at 6-5 in the second-set breaker, her opponent, Kalinina, displayed remarkable resilience, saving the point and securing the subsequent two to clinch victory.

“I was struggling with everything – serve, return, forehand, backhand. I felt like I never really got into it.” – Emma Raducanu

Raducanu acknowledged various factors contributing to her performance, citing her first day-match in a year and the need for more outdoor practice. “It was combination of things. It was my first day-match I have played in a year. That is different.

“I need to practise training outside a bit more. The lights, conditions, shadows… it is really hard to see the ball, I found towards the end.When my tennis isn’t there I have to try and at least fight and I did that in the second set.”