Tim Henman makes stance clear on Emma Raducanu after Brit snubs French Open

Tim Henman makes stance clear on Emma Raducanu after Brit snubs French Open

WATCH NOW: Emma Raducanu speaks at the Australian Open earlier this year

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 21/05/2024

- 18:23

The 2021 US Open winner has opted against competing in Paris this week

Tim Henman has backed Emma Raducanu's decision to skip the French Open and prioritise the upcoming grass-court season.

The Brit pulled out of qualifying for Roland Garros at the weekend after missing out on a wildcard for the second Grand Slam of the year.

Raducanu has struggled with form and fitness after undergoing wrist and ankle surgery which saw her miss much of 2023.

She returned to action at the Auckland Open in early January but has failed to win more than two matches at a single tournament she has competed in since.

Emma Raducanu and Tim Henman

Emma Raducanu has been backed by Tim Henman following her decision to skip French Open qualifying


Raducanu is now ranked 221st in the world and hasn't played a competitive match since losing in the first round of the Madrid Open on April 24.

She decided on Saturday to take herself off the list for French Open qualifying, which began on Monday.

Raducanu confirmed she made the decision in order to put herself in the best position physically for the remainder of the year.

She said in a statement: "It's important for me to keep laying on the foundations and I will use the time to do a healthy block before the grass and subsequent hard court seasons to give myself a chance to keep fit for the rest of the year."

Henman doesn't have a problem with Raducanu's decision to focus on the grass-court campaign.

He reckons it would suit her to play on grass as she seeks a consistent run of form.

Henman told the Daily Mail: "If she wants to move her focus onto the grass already and continue to work on her fitness that’s her prerogative.

"Sometimes we can read a bit too much into these things. She played some great clay court tennis at the Billie Jean King Cup and in Stuttgart but having said that I think grass will suit her game even more."

Henman disagrees with the view that British players put too much priority on the grass-court season.

He added: "I don’t think it’s a question of over-prioritising. It’s just the fact that it’s their home event and Wimbledon is the most prestigious tournament in the world.

"Also, British players, because they have played on grass more than their foreign competitors, they do have a bit of an advantage."

Former British No 1 Laura Robson was forced to retire due to injury at the age of 28.


Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu has decided to prioritise her fitness instead of attempting to qualify for the French Open


She believes Raducanu's decision to carefully manage her schedule is a 'sensible' one.

Robson said: "I wasn’t particularly surprised (by Raducanu’s withdrawal).

"Once she didn’t get a wildcard I think it’s an easy decision to give yourself the best possible preparation for the grass-court season.

"She’s now got an option to play a Challenger event in the second week of Paris and hopefully play every week from then on and get as many matches as possible.

Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu has struggled with form and fitness so far in 2024


"She has to be really careful because her body is still getting used to playing week after week.

"So to play in Paris and then rush on to a different surface… Grass can be tough on the legs, you’ve got to be sharp and an extra week of practice can make a big difference. It seems like a sensible decision to me."

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