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Emma Raducanu faces race against time to prove fitness before Indian Wells cut-off

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EMMA RADUCANU pulled out of this week’s Monterrey Open in Mexico with a hip injury.

Emma Raducanu is facing a race against time to be fit for the Indian Wells Masters next week. The British teenager was involved in a marathon match with Daria Saville at the Guadalajara Open in Mexico, but whilst trailing 4-3 in the deciding set, was forced to retire with a hip injury.

The injury forced her to withdraw from this week’s Monterrey Open, and her participation for the tournament in California, which begins next Monday, March 7, appears in serious doubt.

The 19-year-old shot to superstardom at the US Open last September, when she became the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam event.

It capped a breakthrough year during which she also reached the last 16 of Wimbledon, and by the end of 2021 had climbed more than 300 places in the world rankings.

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Her achievement was further recognised via the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award, and she has also been nominated for the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year award.

After her triumph at Flushing Meadows, she took a short break before returning for the 2021 tournament at Indian Wells, which was delayed from its usual March slot due to the impact of Covid.

However, she was surprisingly beaten by world No 100 Aliaksandra Sasnovich in straight sets, and had endured mixed fortunes on court since, winning just three tour matches.

At the Australian Open, she recorded a superb first round win over American Grand Slam winner Sloane Stephens, but then was again blighted by injury as she battled deep blisters during her defeat to Danka Kovinic.

emma raducanu

And now the next few days will be critical in determining if she is able to compete in an event widely considered the most prestigious outside of the Slam tournaments.

According to GiveMeSport, if Raducanu is entered into the draw in Indian Wells, she will be seeded and in all likelihood, handed a bye through to round two.

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The tournament has already confirmed a host of high-profile names, including Australian Open champion Ashleigh Barty, Aryna Sabalenka, and Coco Gauff.

It is world No 1 Barty who will start as the clear favourite given she is unbeaten in 2022 thus far, although she is still seeking her maiden win at Indian Wells.

emma-raducanu

Last years’s title went to Spain’s Paula Badosa, who sealed just her second WTA Tour singles title, and first at the WTA 1000 level, with a three-set win over Victoria Azarenka.

There was British success in the men’s singles’ though, with Cameron Norrie sealing the biggest win of his career.

Norrie came from one set behind to beat Georgian star Nikoloz Basilashvili in last year’s final.

He will be defending his title next week, and heads to America in good form having reached the final of the Mexican Open, where he lost out to Rafael Nadal.

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