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Tennis: Emma Raducanu suffers major Grand Slam blow

British number one Emma Raducanu will not be taking part at either the French Open or Wimbledon this year after revealing she requires hand and ankle surgery.

The 20-year-old has undergone an operation on her right hand to try and rectify an issue with a bone close to the wrist and, in a couple of weeks, the same procedure will be carried out on the left hand.

Along with surgery on both hands, the Briton will also go under the knife in an attempt to resolve an ankle problem that was first picked up at the ASB Classic in Auckland back in January.

She rolled her left ankle while playing indoors and was forced to retire in tears, adding to what has already been an injury-plagued time for her over the last 15 months.

Since winning the US Open in September 2021 as a qualifier without dropping a set, Raducanu has been hampered by numerous problems - with the latest one coming at last month's Madrid Open, when she pulled out hours before her first match.

Grand Slams out of the picture

What these operations mean is that Raducanu will be out of action for the next few months and this has ruled her out of the French Open, which starts later this month, and the entire grass-court season.

That means there will be no Wimbledon appearance this year for the British star, who burst on the scene in 2021 when reaching the fourth round at the All England Club.

Doubts also remain over her participation at the 2023 US Open, which she is currently 28/1 To Win Outright for the second time in her career.

With the final Grand Slam starting at the end of August, there is little time for Raducanu to prepare for the tournament if her recovery plan sticks to what is being predicted.

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Raducanu looking at the bigger picture

While it is disappointing Raducanu will not be in action for the next two Grand Slams at the very least, this does seem like a smart decision from a player that still has many years left in her career.

At 20 years of age, the Brit still has plenty of development and improvement to come and it is hoped these operations will be the start of her road to recovery.

Her withdrawal from the ongoing Madrid Open does mean she will drop out of the world's top 100 next week, while her place as British number one will likely be taken by Jodie Burrage in the coming weeks.

There is certainly a lot of work for Raducanu to do when she returns to competitive action, but she has the heart and desire to get back to her very best and challenge for major trophies in the future.

For now, getting back to full fitness is the only goal and the British public will be hoping to see her in action at next year's Wimbledon.

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