Emma Raducanu urged not to ‘overtrain’ ahead of Australian Open

Britain’s No.1 Emma Raducanu has been warned against ‘overtraining’ as she continues to adjust to the rigors of the WTA Tour.

Laura Robson, a former British No1 who knows all too well the ramifications of injury, dismissed Raducanu’s injury woes of the past 12 months as unusual for a young player but accepted that an offer carries the risk of overtraining build the body..

Raducanu goes into her Australian Open first round match against Germany’s Tamara Korpatsch with her left ankle strapped in after her preparations were dashed by a strain in Auckland, where she left the pitch in tears.

Emma Raducanu's focus must be on perfecting the

Emma Raducanu’s focus must be on perfecting the “art form” of staying healthy, says Laura Robson

Raducanu looked very uncomfortable as she was treated by the coach

The coach decided to buckle up Raducanu and see if she could continue playing

Raducanu received attention from an Auckland coach but pulled out early in the third set

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But Robson knows that being consistently healthy is her own “art form,” and she wants Raducanu to have more patience in figuring that out.

“It’s just a matter of getting used to playing that level of intensity every week and we see it a lot,” Robson said ahead of the Australian Open, which will be broadcast live and exclusively on Discovery+ and Eurosport sports mail.

“When I make a comment, the lower ranked players come out and win the first set, but they just can’t sustain that energy over a three-hour fight. So just get used to it, get better at being able to adjust in the moment. It’s something you only learn through years of touring and experience, and that’s what she’s trying to put together this year.

She added: “Keeping it healthy is an art form in its own right. And realizing again that it’s a balance of training, not overtraining, being in the gym, doing enough rehab and physical work to make it all come together.

Robson, a former British No1, saw her career end early due to injury problems

Robson, a former British No1, saw her career end early due to injury problems

“That’s something that also takes a little bit of time to get right because you don’t know where your limits are. Especially if this is her first full year on the tour. So it’s like figuring out what days between tournaments you rest on? Should you take it easy? What day should you push a little harder? And it’s all things you don’t know until you’ve done it a few times.’

Raducanu, who has Andy Murray’s former fitness guru Jez Green as a part-time adviser in Australia along with her most trusted physiotherapist Will Herbert, has picked up eight injuries since she went down with a hip problem at the Guadalajara Open in February last year.

An undisclosed issue took her out of the Monterrey Open that same month; She ruled out a back problem in Italy; a side load compelled her from events in Nottingham and Eastbourne; gluteal strain ruined her participation in the Korea Open; A wrist problem was the problem at the Transylvania Open and Guadalajara Open in October before suffering a strained ankle in Auckland this month.

Nonetheless, Raducanu was looking good after a completed off-season – last year she was ruined by her Covid illness – and Robson is more confident than ever that the 20-year-old can establish herself in the top 10 women’s rankings.

“You look at some of the players who are consistently in the top 10, finals and so on, and I have a feeling that eventually she can definitely get there, but it’s going to take time,” Robson said.

Raducanu looked good in the off-season but saw the Australian Open build-up shattered by injury

Raducanu looked good in the off-season but saw the Australian Open build-up shattered by injury

Raducanu is taking a break from training before meeting Tamara Korpatsch on January 16

Raducanu is taking a break from training before meeting Tamara Korpatsch on January 16

“If people think she’s going to go to every tournament and win it, then they don’t know women’s tennis.”

Murray advised Raducanu last year that she needs to find a coach she can stay with long-term after going through five in the last year and a half.

The 20-year-old is now reportedly working with Sebastian Sachs and Robson believes finding the right fit from a ‘carousel’ of trainers is a lot harder than most people realise.

“It’s about whether you’re trying to put up with someone you don’t get along with. I don’t think that makes a lot of sense,” she said.

“So it’s all about finding the right person, and sometimes you find them straight away. It’s honestly like any relationship, the coach-player relationship, it’s so difficult to get it right. You see people who have had the same coach for 10 years, but that’s so rare, especially on the women’s tour.

“So I think if you have to keep changing until you get the right fit, then why not.

The 2021 US Open winner beamed as he appeared to be making progress on Thursday

The 2021 US Open winner beamed as he appeared to be making progress on Thursday

“It’s about finding that balance between someone you respect and who you listen to on the court, but you just spend so much time off the court together. I’ve heard that people can separate the two and just meet on the pitch and then not really be together, but I haven’t found in my career anyway that it’s possible.

“You travel together, you prepare for games together, you have to sit down and talk, talk about tennis pretty constantly to improve, so it’s difficult to get it right. And sometimes you just don’t get along with people as well as you do in an office.”

Watch every Australian Open match live and exclusively Discovery+ and Eurosport

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Maureen Mackey

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