Emma Raducanu of Britain plays a backhand return to Coco Gauff of the U.S. during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Emma Raducanu has been forced to withdraw from the Austin Open due to illness.

The 20-year-old was due to play her first match since her Australian Open loss to Coco Gauff in January at the new competition in Texas, but withdrew just before the draw overnight.

“I’m sorry to have to withdraw from the ATX Open,” Raducanu said.

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Former Olympic champion Monica Puig says Raducanu deserves her commercial deals, but believes she needs to focus her attention on her tennis

“I am currently suffering from tonsillitis and am unable to compete this week. Thank you to the tournament for the great hospitality here in Austin.”

The 2021 US Open champion had committed to play in the inaugural WTA Tour Tournament, which starts on Monday at the Westwood Country Club.

The event, which will be the first tournament held in the United States during the WTA’s 50th anniversary season, will also feature a 16-team doubles field.

Two sessions – one during the day and one in the evening – will be held on each of the first six days of the ATX Open, which runs from February 27 to March 5.

Raducanu has had a disappointing period since her historic win at Flushing Meadows, suffering from injury issues and poor form in her first full season on tour.

She was hopeful of being back to full fitness this year after spending the off-season working on her fitness and conditioning.

An injury scare just before the first Grand Slam of the year was a setback, but she recovered in time for the Australian Open.

She took a short break from tournament tennis ahead of the French Open, but her withdrawal from the Austin Open is a further setback to her fledgling career.

Coco Gauff (L) of the United States embraces Emma Raducanu of Great Britain after winning their round two singles match during day three of the 2023 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 18, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)
Coco Gauff beat Raducanu in straight sets at the Australian Open in January

What does Raducanu have to do moving forward?

Raducanu is currently working with her fifth different coach, Sebastien Sachs, who guided Belinda Bencic to Olympic gold and has also worked with former world No 1 Victoria Azarenka and Germany’s Julia Gorges.

Andy Murray’s former physical trainer Jez Green has also worked alongside the Brit during the off-season and former Olympic champion Monica Puig believes it’s vital for Raducanu to have an established and settled team in place for her to set her future goals.

“Not necessarily big ones because she won that Grand Slam title, but she hasn’t been able to string many results together in a row,” said Puig.

“Let go of the expectation after winning a Grand Slam. First, it’s small goals so quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals consistently of 250 events.

“Maybe win a couple more matches in a row and work on things on the court. See your opponents. What are they doing to you?

“Where are the holes in my game and start filling in those holes by practising more on those things. It can take the pressure off her back.”


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