Emma Raducanu’s performances have mirrored players ranked inside the world top 10 heading into the Australian Open, according to Naomi Broady.
Raducanu, ranked as high as world No.10 in 2022, has dropped to No.301 after eight months ruled out with injury problems and subsequent surgery.
The 21-year-old has made a positive start to the new season, though, beating Elena-Gabriela Ruse in Auckland before impressing in a defeat to Wimbledon semi-finalist Elina Svitolina, in which the British star was compared to Iga Swiatek.
Former British star Broady has hailed Raducanu 10 days before the first Grand Slam of the year, where the 2021 US Open champion has gained direct entry to the main draw thanks to her protected ranking and various withdrawals.
‘Loads of positives to take,’ Broady told Sky Sports about Raducanu. ‘For Raducanu, it was the second match she’s played in eight months, first tournament back and her first match was tough as well.
‘I think it was maybe just a step too far physically but both of them were playing top 10 level today.’
Quizzed about how far Raducanu will go at the Australian Open, Broady added: ‘It’s a tough question.
‘I know her personal goals are to just stay fit and healthy at the moment. She was holding her back towards the end of the match and she had a lot of tape on her thigh today and she didn’t have that in her first round match.
‘But tennis is just such a gruelling sport physically, isn’t it? There’s not many other sports that you would play for so many hours, consecutive days in a week, week after week for 11 months of the year.
‘[She had] two gruelling matches, so for her it’s going to be about staying fit and healthy and then maybe after this Australian swing, looking to start going deeper back in the tournaments again.’