British number one Emma Raducanu (28/1 French Open Outright) was forced to retire from her first-round match with Bianca Andreescu at the Italian Open on Tuesday due to a back injury and she could now face a race against time to be fit for the French Open later this month.
The US Open champion has been dogged by a series of niggling injuries during her first full year on the WTA Tour and she confirmed in the build up to her match with former world number four Andreescu that she has been managing this latest issue over recent weeks.
Despite hoping to come through this week’s WTA 1000 event unscathed, Raducanu was forced to retire from her first-round match after receiving off-court treatment early in the second set and with her opponent leading 6-2 2-1.
The early exit from the Rome event is certainly a blow to Raducanu’s preparations for this month’s French Open, while her participation at Roland Garros may even be in doubt with the second Grand Slam of the year scheduled to get underway on May 22.
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There was better news for Britain in the men’s draw, as Cameron Norrie (pictured) booked his place in the second round by claiming a 6-4 6-4 victory over Italian wildcard Luca Nardi.
Norrie is the ninth seed in Rome, but he admitted he had to overcome some early nerves before getting the better of his teenage opponent.
“I need to clean up a lot of errors,” Norrie told Amazon Prime. “But I was pleased how I turned it around after that start though.
“I came out very, very nervous and very tight for whatever reason. I was just missing a lot of second-serve returns and not playing as aggressive as I would like.”
Norrie’s reward for reaching the second round will be a clash with former US Open champion Marin Cilic on Wednesday (Cilic 11/10, Norrie 8/11 – Match Betting).
Other notable winners on Tuesday included world number one Novak Djokovic, who overcame Aslan Karatsev 6-3 6-2 in the second round.
Djokovic, who was beaten by eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz at the semi-final stage of last week’s Madrid Open, will now face either Stan Wawrinka or Laslo Djere in round three (Djere 2/5, Wawrinka 15/8 – Match Betting).
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