Emma Raducanu has sent a scare through tennis fans just two days out from the US Open after breaking down in tears at a practice session in New York.
The British teenager was consoled by coach Dmitry Tursunov during Friday's practice session after she appeared to tearfully complain about a problem with her right hand.
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The 19-year-old twice stopped her practice session and later appeared with tape on her right wrist, breaking down in tears at one stage.
Uh-oh... hoping it's not as concerning as it appeared for Emma Raducanu in her first practice session at Flushing Meadows - shot for @ShutterstockNow @shutterstock #raducanu #USOpen2022 pic.twitter.com/2mWAl3uQk6
— Javier Garcia (@JavierGarciaBPI) August 26, 2022
However in a positive twist, Raducanu managed to complete the two-hour session before telling reporters there was nothing to worry about.
“I had a few small things, got a couple of blisters, a bit of a niggle here and there. It’s just one of those weird days where you just feel a bit out of it," she said.
“I can’t really explain myself, to be honest. I’m sure everyone in this room has probably had a day like that. I have no concerns of an issue, no.”
Raducanu has battled through a number of injury issues this year in the wake of her extraordinary triumph at the US Open in 2021.
The teenager made tennis history after becoming the first qualifier in the Open era to win a grand slam singles title.
The 11th seed, who opens the defence of her title on Tuesday against French veteran Alize Cornet, said she felt no additional pressure as reigning champion.
"I think you guys are thinking probably more about pressure and ranking than me," she told reporters.
"I think defending a title is just something that the press makes up. I'm just taking it one match at a time.
"Like, every single player is very capable in this draw. I just focus on what I'm doing, my own trajectory. As I said last year, I'm just going to do things my way."
Emma Raducanu due into the media room fairly soon but some cause for concern from her practice. She had her right wrist taped and twice stopped the session, once in tears. She did play on so hopefully nothing serious. pic.twitter.com/C3keoQgmny
— Eleanor Crooks (@EleanorcrooksPA) August 26, 2022
that's what thought. I've never seen her cry before
— Anna Maguire (@Annaiemaggie) August 26, 2022
things wernt right watching her practice she never looked happy and never looked like she wanted to b there, i just REALLY HOPE that she is ok the spotlight on her the world watching and the haters waiting to hate and sum in the media,so young so new a superstar its HEARTBREAKING
— scott devlin (@scottde07820838) August 26, 2022
This does not look good. I see a Sunday withdrawal incoming.
— Chris Smith (@Smudger77) August 26, 2022
These pictures are very distressing. 😔
— Piscean1 (@piranhaC4455990) August 26, 2022
Serena Williams appears emotional at practice session
There were similar scenes involving Serena Williams on Thursday when the 40-year-old American appeared to get emotional after her finishing her practice session abruptly.
Williams will bid farewell to tennis at the US Open after announcing earlier this month that she's walking away from the sport.
There were concerning scenes on Thursday when the 23-time grand slam champion appeared emotional while sitting at her court-side seat after a practice session at Flushing Meadows.
Williams had her head in a towel and looked downtrodden while being spoken to by her coach and advisor Rennae Stubbs.
Williams will face Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in her first round match at the US Open on Monday.
The 23-time grand slam champion is in the same quarter of the draw as second seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia.
The 40-year-old veteran, whose first grand slam title came at the US Open in 1999, would meet Kontaveit in the second round if both win their opening matches at the year's final grand slam event.
The USTA announced later on Thursday that all women's matches in Williams' half of the draw will be scheduled for Monday.
Williams, who is one title shy of the all-time record of 24 grand slam crowns won by Margaret Court, could have quite a path to the final if she can make a shock run on the Flushing Meadows hard-courts.
She could face Canada's 14th-seeded Leylah Fernandez, a 19-year-old who was last year's US Open runner-up, in the fourth round and Tunisia's Ons Jabeur, this year's Wimbledon runner-up, in the quarter-finals.
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