Home News Raducanu set to return as GB face France in Cup clash

Raducanu set to return as GB face France in Cup clash

by GP
Raducanu futures betting

Emma Raducanu is poised to return to action for Great Britain in this weekend’s vital Billie Jean King Cup tie against France. The 2021 US Open Champion has been absent from the side since making her debut against the Czech Republic in 2022.

Raducanu appeared to have the tennis world at her feet when winning the US Open as a qualifier. She did so without dropping a set to become the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977. That victory secured massive endorsements off the court with numerous sponsorship deals including Nike, Tiffany & Co and Evian. She also won BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2021 and was awarded the MBE in 2022.

Raducanu rebuilding her career

However, she has not been able to recapture her form on the court with a procession of new coaches and a catalogue of injuries. Having once been as high as 9 in the world rankings, Raducanu has plunged to 302 and is now attempting to rebuild her career.

Current British number 1 Katie Boulter has already stated that “We’re going to be welcoming her back with open arms” as the team seek a place in the 2024 Billie Jean King Cup Finals. Boulter recently won the San Diego Open to break into the world’s top thirty for the first time.

Boulter is under no illusions about the size of the task facing Great Britain against a strong French side. Their opponents will be led by world number 23 Caroline Garcia and the two teams are 2-2 in previous Cup clashes. Garcia will be joined by former world doubles number 1 Kristina Mladenovic. The pair teamed up successfully to win two Grand Slam doubles titles and will be a daunting prospect if the tie goes to a decider.

British Captain Anne Keothavong

Keothavong facing tricky team selection

Great Britain’s team is completed by Harriet Dart, Heather Watson and Fran Jones while the French team also includes promising youngsters Diane Parry and Clara Burel. British Captain Anne Keothavong (photo) will have a difficult decision whether to plunge Raducanu into the singles matches with so little recent form to go on.

Raducanu was last seen in action losing to world number 2 Aryna Sabalenka in the third round at Indian Wells. She had been due to play in the Miami Open but withdrew with a minor injury to her lower back.

The Billie Jean King Cup tie is staged on clay in Le Portel in northern France and Raducanu freely admits it is not her preferred surface. Her last appearance on clay was when beaten by Jelena Ostapenko in Stuttgart last year.

The best of five Billie Jean King Cup qualifier takes place on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th April with four singles matches plus a doubles decider if required. Britain reached the play-offs when beating Sweden 3-1 in November. A win this weekend will secure one of the twelve final spots in Spain in November.

Written by Bonnie Kilgore

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