Winning tennis matches isn’t Emma Radukanu’s only concern lately – staying injury-free has been difficult for the British star.
The 20-year-old has suffered a myriad of injuries over the past 18 months that have dashed his hopes of success on court.
But Radukanu’s run in Indian Wells showed glimpses of the form that will bring him Grand Slam success in 2021 as he reached the last 16 in Indian Wells on Monday. 6 6-4.
In doing so, Radukanu advanced to the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open for the first time in his career, as well as winning three consecutive matches for only the second time since winning the US Open in September 2021.
Radukanu last managed three straight wins at the WTA 250 in Seoul, South Korea in 2022, before injury forced her to retire again in the semifinals against Jelena Ostapenko.
Brazilian Haddad Maia – Radukanu’s highest-ranked scalp since winning the US Open nearly two years ago – analyzed the Briton saying he played at a “really high level at some points in the match”.
“I think I played very well in the first set and also in the third set,” Raducanu told reporters. “There were some really good points and moments. I think overall the level went up in the third and it was a battle for both of us.”
As well as a chronic wrist injury that hampered him last season, Radukanu suffered an ankle injury before the Australian Open earlier this year, while tonsillitis forced him to withdraw from the Austin Open last month.
After her victory over world number 21 Magda Linnett in the previous round in Indian Wells, Radukanu admitted she was still not “pain-free”.
However, Radukanu Haddad got off to a flying start against Maya, breaking her twice in the first set.
The 26-year-old Brazilian showed her own determination – and why she won the second most matches on the WTA last year – by breaking Radukanu twice in the second set to level the match.
In a nail-biting final set, Radukanu showed plenty of grit to end a six-match losing streak against top-20 opposition.
The current world No. 77 will now face world No. 1 Iga Switek in the next round after the three-time Grand Slam winner continued her fine form in 2023 by beating 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu in straight sets.