Tim Henman addresses Emma Raducanu’s priorities after French Open snub

Tim Henman addresses Emma Raducanu’s priorities after French Open snub

But she hasn’t played since suffering a disappointing defeat to qualifier Maria Lourdes Carle in Madrid. When the Brit pulled out of this week’s WTA 500 in Strasbourg, fans thought she was preparing to compete in French Open qualifying.

But she withdrew from qualies over the weekend and said she would start preparing for the grass and hard courts.

Her decision raised eyebrows, as the qualifying event was another chance for Raducanu to earn some much-needed ranking points.

But Henman has now defended the former world No. 10, rubbishing the idea that she was over-prioritising.

“If she wants to move her focus on to the grass already and continue to work on her fitness that’s her prerogative,” the retired British tennis star told the Daily Mail. “Sometimes we can read a bit too much into these things.

“She played some great clay court tennis at the Billie Jean King Cup and in Stuttgart but having said that I think grass will suit her game even more.” Henman also shut down suggestions that British players put too much focus on the grass swing.

He added: “I don’t think it’s a question of over-prioritising. It’s just the fact that it’s their home event and Wimbledon is the most prestigious tournament in the world. Also, British players, because they have played on grass more than their foreign competitors, they do have a bit of an advantage.”

Meanwhile, Laura Robson agreed with Raducanu’s decision to skip the qualifying tournament in favour of getting more matches elsewhere. “She’s now got an option to play a Challenger event in the second week of Paris and hopefully play every week from then on and get as many matches as possible,” the 30-year-old explained.

“She has to be really careful because her body is still getting used to playing week after week. So to play in Paris and then rush on to a different surface… Grass can be tough on the legs, you’ve got to be sharp and an extra week of practice can make a big difference. It seems like a sensible decision to me.”

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