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Other SportsRaducanu's December exhibition scrapped as injury return pushed back

Raducanu’s December exhibition scrapped as injury return pushed back

Emma Raducanu has withdrawn from an exhibition match in China next month, though she still hopes to make her return to tennis in January.

Raducanu has not played since losing in straight sets to Jelena Ostapenko in Stuttgart in April, ending her season early before undergoing surgeries on both hands and her left ankle.

She was expected to make a much-anticipated appearance at an exhibition tournament in Macau, starting on December 2.

But the event has come too soon for Raducanu, who still remains hopeful of returning in January and will be looking to bounce back after slipping to 289 in the world rankings.

2024 will be an important year for Raducanu, who played just nine games in 2023 and has struggled to hit the heights that saw her win the US Open in 2021 at the age of just 18, disrupted by a number of injuries and a split with coach Sebastian Sachs.

Raducanu’s lengthy absence means she will be able to use a protected world ranking of 103, which could be good enough to earn her a place in January’s Australian Open main draw, the first grand slam of the year.

If she is fit enough to play, Raducanu will be looking to go past the second round of a grand slam for the first time since her famous US Open victory at Flushing Meadows in 2021.

Raducanu spoke of her frustration at the pause in her career last month, telling BBC Radio 4: “I think the biggest thing from the last few months was how much I missed the sport.

“I think that was the standout thing – how much I missed training, how much I missed my body hurting and feeling tired and dragging yourself through certain exercises when you don’t feel like it.”

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