Emma Raducanu has confirmed that she will be fit to play at Wimbledon despite the side injury that has affected her build-up.
The US Open champion had to withdraw from competition at the LTA’s Rothesay Open Nottingham because of the injury and then pulled out of a practice session at Wimbledon on Friday.
But the 19-year-old from Orpington insists that she will be fit and firing for her first match at the All England Club on Monday against experienced campaigner Alison Van Uytvanck.
“Right now I'm fit. I'm ready to go. I'm looking forward to it,” said Raducanu, who reached the fourth round at SW19 last year.
“I've definitely been managing (the injury) since Nottingham. I took two weeks off.
“I've been preparing this week. Yesterday we just had to react to the situation. I already practiced in the morning. So, yeah, we all collectively thought it was the best decision to pass on the afternoon session as well, and stay fresh and (be) ready to go.
“I'm very much looking forward to being back here at Wimbledon. I think that it's the most special place to be playing tennis. Just a very inspiring and motivating place to be.
“I’m definitely looking forward to stepping out on court on Monday.”
Raducanu will be second on Centre Court on the opening day’s play, preceded by Novak Djokovic with Andy Murray following her.
And in Van Uytvanck, she faces an opponent who she has beaten in their only previous meeting. The Belgian should prove a tricky customer though, having previously reached the fourth round at Wimbledon.
Raducanu added: “I think I played her in August last year. It's nine months ago. I think she was definitely the top seed at the time. I kind of just got into the tournament.
“I definitely feel like game-wise I back myself pretty much against anyone. I feel if I really put my mind to it and commit, then I can be pretty good (smiling). So I'm definitely looking forward to the match.
“But she's a real tricky opponent, especially on grass courts. I think this surface definitely suits her well. She plays a pretty quick, high-tempo game. It's definitely going to take some getting used to, being prepared for that straightaway.
“It's definitely going to be a tough matchup, but every match is at this level. I'm still ready to go.”
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