Emma Raducanu has been knocked out of the Madrid Open after yet more injury problems hampered her latest performance.
The British number one required treatment on her back at the end of the first set, before losing the round of 16 match 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 to Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina.
Raducanu is yet to reach beyond the quarter-finals of any tournament since her historic US Open win back in September 2021.
The 19-year-old had been looking for her first run of three straight wins since Flushing Meadows, after convincing victories over Tereza Martincová and Marta Kostyuk in her first two matches at the Madrid Open.
However, after losing the first set to Kalinina, Raducanu revealed she was “struggling” with a back issue and despite a strong comeback in the second set, the Ukrainian came out on top to secure her place in the next round against Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann.
“I would have given myself a five percent chance of winning that match,” Raducanu admitted after her Madrid Open loss. “For it to almost happen, I think that was a positive thing.”
Since her history-making win at the US Open, the Brit has skyrocketed into the spotlight and risen dramatically up the world rankings.
Before she made her WTA Tour debut at the Nottingham Open in June 2021, Raducanu was ranked 366th in the world and despite struggling with her form of late, she has climbed to 11th, right on the cusp of the top ten.
The British number one’s best result since she became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam were two quarter-final finishes.
The first came at the Transylvania Open, where Raducanu had hoped for an iconic victory on the home soil of her Romanian father and a meeting with her tennis idol Simona Halep.
However, she lost out to Ukraine’s Kostyuk and missed her chance at facing Halep in the semi-finals.
She also recently reached the quarters of the Stuttgart Open, where she put in a strong performance against world number one Iga Swiatek, but ultimately lost out in a thrilling 6-4, 6-4 display.
Raducanu has certainly shown glimmers of the unstoppable young player who dominated the US Open without so much as dropping a set. However, injuries have severely affected her performances, including a blistered hand that restricted her ability to hit forehand shots during her Australian Open debut.
She also retired from the Abierto de Guadalajara in Mexico the following month due to a leg injury.
Despite her torrid string of recurring injuries, Raducanu remains optimistic moving forward and she is hopeful she will appear at the Italian Open next week.
“Throughout the week I have been carrying some niggles, and it’s kind of just taking its toll, all of the matches at this kind of level,” she said.
“I think that’s a good thing that I feel like I’m going through this and my body is building with each match I play.”