Emma Raducanu reveals her team wanted her to pull out of the Australian Open BEFORE her second round match because of blisters on her hand – with the British No 1 unable to practise properly before shock defeat to world No 98 Danka Kovinic
The US Open champion suffered a shock three-set defeat to lowly-ranked Montenegrin Danka Kovinic in the second round.
Raducanu battled through the pain of blisters on her hand and remarkably managed to win the second set despite not being able to strike a proper forehand.
Emma Raducanu crashed out of the Australian Open in three sets to Danka Kovinic
The young Brit was in considerable pain with blisters on her right hand, and needed treatment
The 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 loss marks the first time the 19-year-old has been defeated in a completed match at a grand slam, with her only previous loss coming when she pulled out with breathing difficulties against Ajla Tomljanovic in the fourth round of Wimbledon.
After her defeat, the 19-year-old said: ‘Before the match there were people in my team who didn’t want me to play.
‘I fought so hard just to come out to Australia and play here, so I just left it all out there on the court.’
Raducanu revealed that members of her team didn’t want her to play the match on Thursday
Raducanu battled through the pain during the contest but could not overcome her opponent
Raducanu also revealed that she wasn’t hitting any forehands or serves to preserve herself for the match with Kovinic.
She added that the focus for the next few weeks will be ‘catching up’ on fitness and pre-season that she missed due to a positive Covid-19 test.
After rattling through the first three games, Kovinic fought back and soon it became clear that all was not well with Raducanu.
She called the trainer after five games and took a lengthy medical time-out for treatment to her right hand.
Raducanu congratulates Kovinic after the world number 98 advanced to the third round
The 19-year-old winces in pain as she receives medical attention at the side of the court
With the 17th seed clearly hampered on her forehand side, Kovinic made it five games in a row to lead 5-3 and, although Raducanu broke serve in the next game, the Montenegrin took the set.
The Montenegrin looked like she had got a grip on proceedings in the second set when she broke for 4-4 but Raducanu, who seemed to be enjoying the challenge despite the pain, broke for the second time and managed to serve out the set.
But it was clear the blister was bothering her and Kovinic was able to get the better of her during the third and final set.