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Emma Raducanu withdraws from Miami Open as Brit suffers fresh injury problem

Emma Raducanu has withdrawn from the Miami Open through injury in a fresh blow to her hopes of revitalising her career on the WTA Tour after an injury-stricken 2023 season. The 21-year-old Brit was scheduled to face former junior grand slam champion Wang Xiyu in the first round on Tuesday before falling victim to a lower back issue.

Raducanu gave a good account of herself at the Indian Wells Masters earlier this month – the tournament in which she enjoyed her best run in 2023.

After cruising past Spain’s Rebeka Masarova 6-2 6-3, the Brit recorded a walkover win over Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska as she led 4-0 in the first set.

Her reward was a challenging clash with Aryna Sabalenka in the round of 32, and she produced a hard-fought display in defeat, falling 3-6 5-7 to the reigning Australian Open champion.

The world No. 288 will have travelled to Miami in high spirits, having lost just one first-round match in five tournaments so far in 2024.

She is believed to have been out on the court for practice at around 11:40am local time today and was spotted in Miami Gardens as late as less than an hour before news of her injury broke.

However, Raducanu’s wait to reach the fourth round of a Masters tournament for the first time will have to wait due to her latest injury setback.

In 2022, Raducanu returned to the United States as the 11th seed following her incredible 2021 US Open victory months earlier.

However, she lost to the Czech Republic’s Katerina Siniakova in the first round before suffering another exit at the opening hurdle last year against Canada’s Bianca Andreescu.

It wouldn’t have been smooth sailing this time around, either. Xiyu is the world No. 56 and lifted her maiden WTA Tour trophy on home soil in the 2023 Guangzhou Open.

The Chinese 22-year-old reached the final of the ATX Open in Texas earlier this month but tasted defeat against compatriot Yuan Yue.

She then squandered a set lead to crash out of the Indian Wells first round against France’s Clara Burel but has a strong track record on the hard court.

Xiyu’s best Grand Slam performance came in the 2022 US Open. She reached the third round at Flushing Meadows by earning a shock triumph over third seed Maria Sakkari before losing to Alison Riske-Amritraj.

With Raducanu’s unfortunate withdrawal, Xiyu will achieve her best-ever Miami Open result, matching her second-round appearances in 2019 and 2023.

As for Raducanu, she will start work to regain fitness and return to the court to ensure her 2024 is better than last year.

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