Emma Raducanu's puzzling return to ASB Classic Auckland after getting injured and bad mouthing courts in January

Emma Raducanu's return destination is set and it can be perhaps seen as a puzzling one at that in the ASB Classic in Auckland from January 1-7, 2024.

Raducanu will start Australian Open preparation in New Zealand albeit on the site where her injury woes really began this season before cutting her season short for surgery in April.

Raducanu left the court in tears this past January after rolling her ankle in the second round 11 days out before the opening Grand Slam of the season in Australia. The belief was that the slippy indoor courts played a part which she was forced to play on due to heavy rain.

It was a setback that she never quite recovered from needing surgery on both wrists and her ankle in the middle of the year.

‘The courts are incredibly slick, like very slippery, so to be honest it’s not a surprise that this happened to someone,’ Raducanu told New Zealand website stuff.co.nz at the time.

‘Auckland overall, it rained a lot this week, so I didn’t get to see much and I thought maybe certain aspects could have been organized better, but overall I had pleasant support.

‘It’s out of my control and after a very long day of waiting around. But we’ll assess over the next few days and see what the next steps are. It’s difficult to take. I’ve put a lot of physical work in the last few months and have been feeling good and optimistic.

"So to be stopped by a freak injury, rolling an ankle, is pretty disappointing, in the first week as well. I thought I was playing some pretty decent tennis."

All in all though, it could've been a necessary evil as such for Raducanu, with a stacked field in Brisbane and the United Cup limiting options for her in terms of her tennis return.

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WTA ASB Classic Emma Raducanu

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