Emma Raducanu has admitted that she isn’t putting any pressure on herself to play at the Olympic Games as she plots her comeback for 2024. The Brit has been sidelined since undergoing surgery earlier this year but is making her return at the perfect time, during an Olympic year.
Raducanu’s injury woes have stopped her from meeting the regular requirements to represent Team GB in Paris but she could still make a good case given that her absence hasn’t been through any fault of her own.
While the former world No 10 would love to experience the Olympics, Raducanu isn’t putting any pressure on making the cut as she believes she will have plenty of opportunities. The Brit’s injury woes have stopped her from meeting the regular requirements to represent Team GB in Paris.
She could still make a good case to be given her recent injuries and surgeries but isn’t putting the Olympics in her guaranteed plans for 2024. “I didn’t even know I could still play. I was like, there’s no way I can play the Olympics. I had no idea,” Raducanu told BBC Radio 4 Today.
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“Obviously the Olympics is such a big thing in sport. I think I could play another four if I wanted to. So this one isn’t any immediate rush or pressure. I think for me it’s just getting back on court. I love the Slams but of course I would want to have the Olympic experience. I’ll just see how it goes, if I even qualify or how it happens from there.”
In order to be eligible to play tennis at the Olympics, a player must represent their country on at least two occasions in the sport’s national team tournaments – the Billie Jean King Cup for women and the Davis Cup for men. Both occasions must be during the four-year Olympic cycle, with at least one of the appearances coming in either 2023 or 2024.
For the Paris 2024 games, the International Tennis Federation classes 10 August 2020 to 10 June 2024 as the Olympic cycle in which a player has to represent their nation twice. In Raducanu’s case, she has only been part of the BJK Cup squad once – for Britain’s qualifier tie last April.
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She was unable to represent Britain at the BJK Cup Finals last November after ending her season early due to her wrist issues. And Raducanu is not in GB’s squad for their play-off against Sweden next month. There will be one last chance for the 20-year-old to play for her team and become eligible for the Olympics, which will come next April.
But if the 2021 US Open winner doesn’t meet the requirements, she could still plead her case for special circumstances because her injuries have prevented her from competing for her nation in the past. The ITF states that “the injury or illness must be evidenced through authorised medical records, clearly identifying the period of absence from all competitive tennis.”
Even if it’s not at the Olympics, fans will still get to see Raducanu back in action next year. The Brit confirmed that she would be back in time for the start of the 2024 season, which kicks off in Australian in January. Raducanu last played a match in April, losing to Jelena Ostapenko in Stuttgart.
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