TIRED Emma Raducanu has revealed she was ASLEEP two minutes before starting her first tennis match in two months.
The Brit was having a quick SNOOZE just moments before she took to the Indian Wells court to face Danka Kovinic of Montenegro on Thursday night in the California desert.
Indeed, the 20-year-old says she only made a decision to play the first-round contest about “20 minutes before” due to wrist pain that had bothered her in the build-up.
Raducanu’s previous match had been against American Coco Gauff on January 18 in the Australian Open second round and since then she had a bout of tonsillitis.
Raducanu – who was heard repeatedly coughing into her towel during changerovers – said: “I just woke up (on Thursday) feeling not great to be honest. I felt quite ill.
“Before the match I did not warm up. Two minutes before I was called (to the court) I was sleeping in the treatment room. I’m just proud to have got out there and win.
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“The wrists were manageable not 100%. But I think we're trying to find some good strategies to manage the pain.”
Raducanu, who is positioned 77th on the WTA world rankings, will play Poland’s Magda Linette on Saturday.
Yet there is a danger she could drop out of the world’s top 100 come Wimbledon if results don’t pick up.
To her credit, she has buckled down in training and done plenty of physical conditioning back in London these past few weeks.
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Raducanu says she has tried to stay off social media and messaging services to clean her mind as she tries to kick-start her career after a dip following the 2021 US Open fairy tale.
There have been seven messages on her Instagram account – to her 2.5million followers – since leaving Melbourne
But four of those are linked to sponsors and it is likely they have been posted by her management team for contractual reasons.
The Kent youngster said: “After the AO (Australian Open) I just deleted WhatsApp and Instagram off my phone. I’ve just been living under my own little rock.
“Because I felt like it. Sometimes you go through some patches where you feel like you just want to zone in on yourself.
“I was very content with my life, what I was doing without it.
“That is a part of social media. I feel that it affects you.
“But I think that I’ve just learned regardless of what you do – if you do good, if you do bad – people are going to come at you regardless.
“So now it doesn’t really bother me so much. I don’t really let it affect me.”
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Andy Murray required three hours and three sets before winning 6-7 6-1 6-4 against Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry at the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday.
The Scot, 35, will now face Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain in the last 64 and the winner of that tie will take on a Brit — either Jack Draper or Dan Evans.
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