Emma Raducanu has revealed she felt “redundant” after struggling with blisters during Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup Final qualifier against the Czech Republic.
The 19-year-old overcame Tereza Martincová during her clay court debut yesterday, but struggled to secure another victory against Markéta Vondroušová today.
She lost 6-1, 6-1 to the 2019 French Open runner-up after struggling with a blister on her right foot.
“It kind of showed up after yesterday’s match,” Raducanu explained. “We’ve been managing it but as you saw I couldn’t really move or load either way and now it’s just about trying to get it better as soon as possible.
“It was compromising every shot I had to play. It’s very disappointing when you’re out there playing a rubber for your country and you feel completely redundant.”
Raducanu has indeed been blighted by fitness issues since her improbable victory at the US Open in September.
Severe blistering on her right hand led to defeat in the second round of the Australian Open. She then retired from her first-round match at the Guadalajara Open with a hip injury, and blamed a loss at the Miami Open on a stiff back.
“I’ve had a few blisters on my feet before. I’m going to need to go and evaluate all my options. This has happened quite a few times now and we need to nip it in the bud.
“Of course it’s frustrating but in some sort of twisted way it gives me a sense of confidence and relief that I don’t think it’s my tennis that’s the issue.
“As soon as I sort all of these out and keep building on my tennis level then I think I’ll be able to put out good matches back to back.”
The Czech Republic looked set to win the qualifier against Britain following Vondroušová’s victory, but Harriet Dart then triumphed against 16-year-old rookie Linda Fruhvirtova.
Britain were unable to cause a shock in the deciding doubles rubber, however, with Dart and Katie Swan losing 6-1 7-5 to Vondroušová and Karolína Muchová.
“I do feel really proud of all the players and the team effort that’s gone into this weekend,” said Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup captain Anne Keothavong.
“The fact that we took it all the way down to the deciding rubber just shows how much guts and courage the players had today. Overall we came close but fell short.”
Keothavong also admitted Raducanu needed to become more “robust” to build on her success at the US Open.
“It does take time for a player to get used to life on the tour and become more robust, and she certainly needs to become more robust. I don’t think that’s any secret and she’s working on it.
“The more she puts herself out there, the more she continues to test herself against the very best, she’ll figure out a way that works for her.”