EMMA RADUCANU sparked concern for her fitness after quitting a high-profile pre-planned practice session on the eve of Wimbledon.
And former tennis ace Pam Shriver has written off her chances of going deep into the tournament this next fortnight.
Raducanu has pulled out of a pre-planned practice session ahead of Wimbledon
Confusion surrounded the wellbeing of Britain’s golden girl as she failed to show up for an allotted training slot under the No.1 Court roof.
The 19-year-old was down to play two-time Slam champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain for 45 minutes this afternoon.
But Raducanu’s team informed officials at late notice that she would not be walking out to an arena where the world’s media and photography were waiting.
A replacement had to be quickly found and a beaming Yuriko Miyazaki – who this year defected from Japan to Britain – took up the opportunity to play a high-calibre opponent on a prestigious show court.
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After a day off on Thursday, she did train at Aorangi Park as expected but this surprise absence only reinforced the belief she is not yet 100%.
Kent star Raducanu has been an injury doubt ever since she strained her side in the Nottingham Open first round.
The world No.11 lasted just seven games in the first set and she is due to face dangerous Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck in the first round on Monday without any matches on grass under her belt.
Shriver, who won five Wimbledon women’s doubles titles, believes the injury and the unsettled coaching situation mean a deep run at Wimbledon is unlikely.
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Shriver ‘doesn’t expect a lot’ from Raducanu at Wimbledon
The American, 59, told Pickswise: “I don’t know why it’s been so complicated to get a coach to help for this next phase of time, but it clearly has been.
“I don’t expect a lot from Raducanu at Wimbledon.
“She’s had a lot of injuries, not enough time on the court, and there’s plenty of pressure back at her home slam, the place where she didn’t return to the court to finish her match 12 months ago.
“Putting all of that together, I’d be surprised if she made a deep run.”
Meanwhile, her super-agent Max Eisenbud insists the US Open champion is not being distracted by commercial interests.
This was a charge levelled at her by England head coach Eddie Jones last autumn.
Raducanu has NINE sponsors on her roster – British Airways, Dior, Evian, HSBC, Nike, Porsche, Tiffany’s jewelleries, Vodafone and Wilson rackets – that are worth tens of millions of pounds.
IMG chief Eisenbud told the BBC’s Sports Desk podcast: “We could have done 50 days of shoots.
“I’ve never seen the amount of excitement and companies that wanted to be in business with Emma after the US Open.
“It’s been a tough year. She got a lot of bad luck and what really hurt her was (catching) Covid and not having a great off-season, and then she was playing catch up.
“But I think that if she had zero shoot dates, everything would be the same.
“I know from the outside, you guys want to look at all those things.
“But if she locked herself in the room for the whole year and didn’t do anything, I think it would be the same.
“Emma decided that she wants to start her shoots at 12pm or 1pm and go until 8pm or 9pm and have the option in the morning to either train or work out or do some fitness.
“Not all the days have been used of the 18. There are sponsors that have those days, but many of them don’t use them.
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“I would imagine by the end of the year the amount of days she uses will be around 13.
“But when the 19th day comes, and it’s millions of dollars and you have got to say ‘no’ because you’re being true to the 18 days – it’s tough.”