Emma Raducanu secured back-to-back victories for the first time since September as she advanced to the third round at Indian Wells on Saturday, but the youngster says she still isn’t “pain free” after a series of injuries and illnesses derailed the start of her season.
The 20-year-old triumphed 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 over world No.21 Magda Linette, the highest ranked opponent she has defeated since winning the 2021 US Open.
Since that historic grand slam victory, Raducanu has been plagued by a seemingly endless series of injuries and illness as she plunged from world No. 10 in July 2022 to world No. 77 this week.
“I had to dig really deep against Magda because her level was really high,” Raducanu said afterward, according to the BBC.
“The wrist isn’t completely pain free. But I gritted my teeth a little bit and it’s good to still be able to win matches at this level despite the challenges I’ve had over the past few weeks.”
As well as the lingering wrist injury that hampered her last season, Raducanu suffered an ankle injury before the Australian Open while tonsillitis forced her to withdraw from the Austin Open last month.
“Sometimes you wonder, like, how is this possible?” she told reporters, according to Reuters.
“But then very quickly I think you create your own luck. It works both ways. I won the US Open as well. I have to take the bad luck sometimes because good fortune has also come upon me.
“I wouldn’t trade that title for the world. I’m just prepared to take whatever it takes, knowing that I have that in the bank.”
Against Linette, who reached this year’s Australian Open semifinals, Raducanu battled back from a 4-1 deficit in the first set to eventually take victory in two.
Raducanu will now face Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia, the 13th seed, for a spot in the last 16.