Emma Raducanu reveals isolation period was behind blister leading to Australian Open exit

Emma Raducanu revealed her period in isolation in December was one of the factors behind a blister she developed during the second round of the Australian Open

Emma Raducanu revealed her period in isolation in December was one of the factors behind a blister she developed during the second round of the Australian Open.

The 19-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 while she was in Abu Dhabi, subsequently entering a period of isolation.

She attributed her time away from playing tennis to the development of a blister during her Australian Open second round clash against Danka Kovinić.

“It’s very rare for me to be that long away from tennis so I think my hands definitely suffered from that,” Raducanu said.

“Then coming here you want to make up the hours but I think you need to be smart about it. Also, the humidity – I’m not experienced with why that should be, but it’s good to learn.”

Due to her painful injury, Raducanu was restricted to backhands and sliced forehands for the most part of her match against Kovinić.

Miraculously, she was able to take the fixture to a deciding set, but eventually lost 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

Raducanu had been struggling with the blister in training, but she revealed she did want to withdraw from the Grand Slam.

Emma Raducanu struggled with a blister during her second round match at the Australian Open

“Once I stepped out on the court I’d made my decision,” she said. “I had the option to withdraw before the match but after everything, the Covid, making it out here, fighting back from the loss last week, I wanted to give it all I had.

“I’m on the other side of the world! And I know my hand is going to recover in two days. It’s not long-term. I can build on this pretty quickly and start working on my game again.”

Raducanu was competing in only the third Grand Slam of her career, four months after her improbable victory at the US Open in September.

The teenage talent became the first qualifier to ever win a Grand Slam at the US Open – winning 10 games in a row without dropping a set during the tournament.

Emma Raducanu revealed she was surprised by the effort it took to remain at the top of women's tennis

As a result, she has risen to world number 18. Following her rapid rise to the higher echelons of women’s tennis, Raducanu revealed she was surprised by the effort it took to stay there.

“It’s definitely a lot of work to stay at the top,” she said. “When I was lower down the ranks I definitely thought that once you were in that top bracket you could stay there. But you can’t.

“You pretty much have to be on it every week. Be really focused, really work hard. I think I’ve put it in on this trip.”

Raducanu will now decide whether to travel to the Middle East in order to compete in tournaments in Doha and Dubai, before Indian Wells in March.

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