Emma Raducanu wants to go to Olympics but may not qualify
Emma Raducanu said she “would love to play the Olympics” – but her decision to skip next month’s Billie Jean King Cup tie in Coventry means that her opportunities to qualify for Paris 2024 are diminishing.
The International Tennis Federation uses Olympic participation as a carrot to encourage players to enter the two main team competitions – the Davis Cup and BJK Cup – which offer no ranking points.
The rules say you have to represent your country at least twice in the four-year cycle (which has come down to three years this time around) in order to appear at the following Olympics. Raducanu has turned out only once so far, against the Czech Republic in Prague in April last year.
She should still have two more chances to gather the required credits on her account, as Great Britain will play again in November and then next spring, but she has now missed three straight outings for national teams.
First, Raducanu’s recurring wrist trouble ruled her out of the BJK Cup finals in Glasgow in November, then she preferred a WTA 250 in Auckland over the United Cup event in Sydney in January, and now she is due to play the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart – which starts on April 15 – rather than representing Great Britain against France that same weekend.
One factor in that last decision may be that Porsche are among Raducanu’s nine corporate sponsors. The British No 1 has also cited the soreness in her right wrist, which is becoming a worrying long-term problem.
Asked on Wednesday why she had ruled herself out of Coventry, Raducanu said: “Because of my existing injuries, the best medical advice was to not switch surfaces at such short notice. So that's what I've been told.”
It would theoretically be possible to go straight from Coventry to Germany, but Stuttgart is an indoor clay event, while the BJK Cup tie will be played on hard courts.
“Of course I would love to play the Billie Jean King Cup,” Raducanu said. “It's just this scenario is not the best for my body. I really need to look after myself and do what's best for me on the match court.”
As for Paris 2024, she said: “Of course, I would love to play the Olympics.”
After a promising trip to the last 16 of Indian Wells this month, Raducanu’s Miami Open lasted only one match. On Wednesday, she suffered a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 loss at the hands of former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu. After that defeat, she admitted that she would need further medical advice on her troublesome right wrist.
“I'm able to play in the short term,” Raducanu said. “But the current solutions aren't very viable long term.”