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US Open winner Emma Raducanu, 19, returns to action at Wimbledon

Center Court awaits: US Open winner Emma Raducanu, 19, returns to action at Wimbledon after a stormy year since her SW19 debut – after being helped by her youth coach after injury scare

  • British No. 1 makes Center Court debut in opener against Alison Van Uytvanck
  • Raducanu had to withdraw from the Nottingham Open earlier this month
  • Said she is ready for Center Court and will enjoy the loud support from fans

US Open winner Emma Raducanu was seen arriving at Wimbledon today as she prepares for her big comeback after a string of injuries.

The UK No. 1 waved to spectators as she arrived at the All England Club, before hiding under an umbrella during a downpour.

The 19-year-old Raducanu, who wore a Rafael Nadal T-shirt, will make her Center Court debut in a tough opener against Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck.

Now without a permanent coach, Raducanu has trained at Wimbledon with Jane O’Donoghue – who played a prominent role in her development between the ages of 13 and 17.

Emma Raducanu waves to the spectators as she arrives at Wimbledon on the first day of the championships

Emma Raducanu waves to the spectators as she arrives at Wimbledon on the first day of the championships

Raducanu had to retire from the Nottingham Open earlier this month after saying she felt pain in her left side from the moment she served in her first round match against Viktorija Golubic.

She took painkillers and was laid flat on the court for treatment during two change-overs, later stating she would seek a scan – putting her involvement in Wimbledon on the line.

However, the Briton has reassured fans that she can take on Van Uytvanck on Saturday after a solid training.

And she said she will be ready for center court, telling reporters, “Everyone there wants me to do well and stands behind me and they will cheer.”

Sir Andy Murray will follow her to the show court today.

Meanwhile, Raducanu’s grandmother is unable to make the trip to Wimbledon from her apartment near downtown Bucharest, Romania, due to Covid fears.

But the retired teacher, who has never seen Emma play professionally in person, says she won’t even tune in.

“I won’t be able to go to England, but I can’t see her on TV either, my heart can’t take it,” she told the Daily Mail. “It breaks my heart to see her push herself like that.

“I feel for her when I see how much effort she has to put in and I get stressed. I don’t want to send her negative energy, I just want to bring out positive thoughts.’

Instead, Mrs. Raducanu watches the matches of potential opponents. “But in my mind I will be there for her,” she added. “I always encourage her. I recently spoke to her on a video call. I said to her, “God will help you do what you need to do.” I send her my best wishes.’

The British No 1, who was seen under an umbrella wearing a Rafael Nadal T-shirt, makes her Center Court debut in a spirited opener against Belgium's Alison Van Uytvanck

The British No 1, who was seen under an umbrella wearing a Rafael Nadal T-shirt, makes her Center Court debut in a spirited opener against Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck

The loving grandmother added: ‘If she doesn’t win now, I’ll be there for her too, reassuring her that things will be better next time.

“I’m proud of what she’s accomplished, but she still needs to muster more strength.”

She is confident that Emma’s Wimbledon will not end the way it did a year ago, when she stopped in the fourth round with breathing difficulties. “Now she has a large medical team checking everything,” said Mrs. Raducanu. She has discussed Emma’s fitness with her son Ian – the star’s father – after the teenager withdrew from the Nottingham Open with a side injury. “He said it’s nothing serious. She’s ready for Wimbledon,” she said.

Emma hasn’t seen her grandmother for almost three years because of the lockdown and her schedule. “But we talk a lot… and she sends me presents,” Mrs. Raducanu added.

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