'Have As Many Matches To Build Confidence': Roddick Advises Raducanu To Play Challengers

'Have As Many Matches To Build Confidence': Roddick Advises Raducanu To Play Challengers

by Nurein Ahmed

Andy Roddick recently suggested that tennis players who have been out of action for an extended period desperately need to play a lot more matches on their return.

The former World No. 1 was speaking on Betway, where he discussed Emma Raducanu's short-term plans for her bid to get back into a competitive groove. Raducanu spent eight months away from the tennis tour last year because of injuries.

The British tennis star detailed her lengthy injury break following her opening win at the Indian Wells Open. Raducanu explained that she underwent three surgeries within ten days in 2023 - a process she referred to as "pretty intense".

Although she returned to practice shortly after, it was only in December that she took part in full-time training at the National Tennis Centre under her former mentor and now new coach, Nick Cavaday.

Lack of match sharpness has been evident in Raducanu's performances this year. She made her return at the WTA 250 event in Auckland at the turn of the year and then played the Australian Open. Before Indian Wells, she owned a negative win-loss record of 3-4.

Her poor showing in Doha, where she lost 0-6, 6-7 to Anhelina Kalinina, triggered a moment of self-reflection, with Raducanu highly critical of her performance.

Roddick has weighed in on the Briton's early struggles in 2024 and believes she needs to have a "backup plan" of playing in lower tiers to seek additional matches under her belt.

"Emma Raducanu has been offered a wildcard (for Indian Wells), but potentially has a back-up plan of going to play some Challengers after that. When you’re in her position of coming back after such a long time out, you don’t want to lose in the first or second round and then have to wait two-and-a-half weeks to Miami and end up only playing two to four matches in the space of five or six weeks."

Many tennis onlookers agree with the American's argument that Raducanu is spending a lot more time in practice than in actual matches. He reckons the gap between two matches in her schedule has not helped to restore her confidence. Dropping down to Challengers might be the logical move for now.

"You can practice all you want, but you can’t replicate match conditions and being under the gun at deuce in a set that is tied at 4-4, so I would be looking to have as many matches as possible to try and build that confidence."

Raducanu has yet to win back-to-back matches on the WTA tour this season. But she has an opportunity to do so when she faces Dayana Yastremska in the second round of Indian Wells on Saturday.


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