Published On: Tue, May 14th, 2024
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Emma Raducanu pulls out of another tournament in major hint to French Open plans | Tennis | Sport

Emma Raducanu has pulled out of next week’s WTA 500 event in Strasbourg after being announced in the player line-up last month. The Internationaux de Strasbourg takes place in the same week as the French Open qualifying event and Raducanu just missed the main draw cut-off for the French with her protected ranking. Her decision not to play the WTA 500 hints that she could compete in the Grand Slam qualifying draw.

Raducanu’s participation in the Internationaux de Strasbourg was announced last month but the tournament has now confirmed that she has withdrawn. The world No. 212’s commitment to play in Strasbourg initially raised eyebrows as the tournament takes place over the same week as French Open qualifying, in which she is slated to compete.

The Brit entered the clay-court Grand Slam with her protected ranking of No. 103 and was fifth on the list of alternates, meaning she could make it in by qualifying, receiving a wildcard or if five players withdrew. It appeared that she was counting on the latter two by choosing to skip qualies for another WTA tournament.

But with the qualifying tournament now days away and Raducanu still without a spot in the main draw, her decision to pull out of Strasbourg may have been made so that she can play for a place in the French Open.

Raducanu has only played Grand Slam qualifying once in her young career and went on to make history. Aged just 18, she became the first qualifier ever to lift a Major title when she won 10 matches in a row without dropping a set at the 2021 US Open.

Since then, her ranking has been high enough to earn her a spot in the main draw. For this year’s Australian Open, she also entered using her protected ranking and was outside of the cut-off but got in when several players pulled out and did not need to play qualifying. This time, it appears to be her only option to make it to the French Open.

Raducanu has not played a match since suffering a disappointing first-round exit at the Madrid Open, where she lost 6-2 6-2 to qualifier Maria Lourdes Carle. Prior to that, she had a strong start to the clay season and won four matches in a row for the first time since her US Open run.

Raducanu helped Britain qualify for the Billie Jean King Cup Finals as she won both of her matches during the team’s qualifier tie against France. She then reached the quarter-final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, beating Angelique Kerber and Linda Noskova before losing to Iga Swiatek.

The former world No. 10 missed the Italian Open as she did not receive a wildcard. After losing in Madrid, she admitted that she was exhausted after her efforts at the start of the clay swing. “I think I’m going to just take a few days off and rest a little bit because I’ve been going non-stop for the last month,” Raducanu said.

“Because before Billie Jean King Cup I had two weeks of really intense training and then went straight there, straight to Stuttgart, straight here. So I think I’m going to just recharge a little bit. I think from the performance today it was very clear that mentally and emotionally I was exhausted and yeah, that’s just all.”

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