Emma Raducanu makes painful Great Britain decision as return date set

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Emma Raducanu will not represent Great Britain in the Billie Jean King Cup qualifier in Coventry next month because she wants to rest her injured wrist. The former US Open champion plans to play in the Miami Masters next week and then rest before starting her claycourt season at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart on April 17 – two days after the GB tie.

The German car maker is one of her sponsors.

It is the third consecutive team event – after the BJKC finals in November and the United Cup in Australia in January – where the British No.1 has not played for her country.

It is the same wrist injury which cut last season short and needs constant monitoring. The world No.77 also has to limit her practice time and wants to manage the shift from indoor hard to clay.

But Raducanu, 20, recovered from a bout of tonsillitis to reach the fourth round of the Indian Wells Masters before losing to world No.1 Iga Swiatek. It was only the second time since winning her maiden Grand Slam that she had won three matches at a tournament and she achieved her best ranking win since New York by beating world No.13 Beatriz Hadda Maia.

She had previously lost six consecutive matches against top six opposition.

Raducanu will now ease up the rankings to world No.72 but she is determined to climb higher and try and achieve a seeding for Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

She now plans to play Miami, Stuttgart, Madrid and then perhaps Rome before the second Grand Slam of the season starts on May 28.

Sources close to Raducanu insisted she wanted to play in Coventry – and personally informed captain Anne Keothavong – but asked about the tie in Indian Wells, she said: Uh, I don’t even know when it is, to be honest. I haven’t thought about it. I’ve just been so in my zone as I’ve said. So I’ll decide later.”

Keothavong has picked a team Harriet Dart, Heather Watson, Katie Boulter, Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls for the April 14-15 tie at Coventry’s Building Society Arena.

I’m pleased to name the same team as the one we had four months ago in Glasgow where we gelled so well, and the team spirit was electric,” said Keothavong. “There were some memorable performances across the week to help us reach the semifinals.

Harriet Dart showed us what she’s capable of by beating the likes of Badosa and Tomljanovic. We saw Alicia and Olivia make their Cup debut, where they brought so much energy to the court and demonstrated how important doubles is.

Katie and Heather have a proven track record in this competition and are enthusiastic as ever to be part of this team. While Emma is unavailable for this tie we look forward to seeing her back on the team in the near future”.

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