Emma Raducanu says she is still 'managing' a back issue ahead of the Italian Open as her body gets used to the 'intensity' of her first full season on the WTA Tour.
Raducanu, 19, has struggled with several niggling injuries this year, including blisters on her racquet hand at the Australian Open and blisters on her feet during the Billie Jean King Cup.
The latest setback was a back issue which hampered her in defeat to Anhelina Kalinina in the last 16 of the Madrid Open.
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“I think it’s just coming from a lot of intensity and overload,” said Raducanu ahead of her Italian Open first-round clash with 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu.
“My back, I’m managing it. Like it’s fine. But it’s just trying to adapt again to the long matches, to the intensity.
"I think that all of the small sort of niggles I’m getting, they’re all related and connected to each other, when something is overcompensating perhaps. Yeah, we’ll see.”
Despite her injury concerns, Raducanu has enjoyed an encouraging clay season so far.
She won her first professional match on the surface at the Billie Jean King Cup, reached the quarter-finals in Stuttgart and was solid in Madrid before losing to Kalinina.
She will continue to work with Iain Bates, the Lawn Tennis Association’s head of women’s tennis, in Rome after splitting with coach Torben Beltz.
Comparing the conditions at the Italian Open to Madrid, which is at altitude, Raducanu said: “I think here is completely opposite.
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“It’s quite heavy and slow, so there’s going to be a lot longer points. It will be interesting to see what the differences are. But I can already feel them on the court tennis-wise.”
Raducanu has a tantalising draw in Rome as she opens against Andreescu and would then face either Naomi Osaka or Sara Sorribes-Tormo next.
Andreescu has not been able to stay at the top of game after winning the US Open in 2019 and is looking to climb back up the rankings after a break from the tour.
“Of course, we are both pretty good players,” Raducanu said about Andreescu.
“It’s going to be a good match-up, for sure. She’s a great athlete and obviously a champion. She’s got a really good attitude. Yeah, I think it’s going to be interesting.”
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