Can Emma Raducanu step back into the limelight? 

British No.1 is battling form and injury issues ahead of her US Open title defence

Emma Raducanu lost to Camila Giorgi at the Canadian Open 
Emma Raducanu: not feeling the pressure?
(Image credit: Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images  )

In just over a fortnight, Emma Raducanu will begin the defence of her US Open title, said Stephen Davies in The Mail on Sunday. But last week, her preparations “suffered another setback” after she was “bullied into defeat by Liudmila Samsonova of Russia” in the quarter-finals of the Washington Citi Open in Washington. The 19-year-old blew four set points in the first set, and from then on her performance was “dismal”. She slumped to a 7-6, 6-1 defeat.

It’s an inauspicious start for Raducanu, who has won just 11 of her 25 matches played on the WTA Tour so far this season. She keeps losing to players ranked well below her – Samsonova was the world No.60 – and keeps getting injured, said Jamie Johnson in The Daily Telegraph. In the past year, the afflictions have mounted: sore ribs, a foot injury, shortness of breath. In Washington, she suffered a return of the blisters on her right hand that plagued her at the Australian Open in January.

On Tuesday world No.10 Raducanu suffered another loss, this time 7-6, 6-2 against Italy’s Camila Giorgi at the Canadian Open in Toronto. The defeat to defending champion Giorgi was the “latest blow” to Raducanu’s US Open preparations, said the Press Association. The teenager “squandered chances to seize the initiative” in either set and “let slip a 2-0 lead in the second before bowing out in one hour and 49 minutes”.

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Another issue is her lack of “coaching consistency”, said Johnson in the Telegraph. She has hired and fired two coaches over the past year, and is now working on a temporary basis with the Russian former player Dmitry Tursunov. Yet Raducanu insists she isn’t feeling any pressure. She said: “I’m still 19. I’m a slam champion, so no one’s going to take that away from me. The pressure is on those who haven’t done that.”

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