Tim Henman sets target for ‘massively inexperienced’ Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu is ranked No.296 after nine months ruled out (Picture: Getty)

Former British No.1 Tim Henman says ‘massively inexperienced’ star Emma Raducanu should be targeting 20 tournaments in 2024 with no injury issues.

Raducanu, a Grand Slam champion in 2021 who was ranked inside the world top 10 a year later, is all the way down at No.296 after nine months on the sidelines.

The 21-year-old underwent surgery last year and made her return to WTA action in January, picking up impressive wins over three players ranked above her.

British star Raducanu beat world No.134 Elena Gabriela Ruse and world No.161 Shelby Rogers in Auckland and Melbourne respectively before a triumph against world No.36 Marie Bouzkova in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Victory over Bouzkova will see Raducanu make a jump up the rankings when they update on Monday and the 2021 US Open champion has also hinted she may drop down and play some lower-level events this year.

‘If she feels she wants to try and get more matches, then absolutely [it is a good idea],’ Henman told Metro.co.uk.

‘The number one priority on my wishlist for Raducanu is for her to be able to compete in whatever tournament it is, without any of the physical setbacks.

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open - Day 1

Emma Raducanu has only played three events since April 2023 (Picture: Getty)

‘If she can avoid those injuries which break up the momentum and build up some physical resilience, that’s the most important thing.

‘Form is temporary but class is permanent. She is such a good player. You could see in the first two tournaments this year, her level was very, very impressive.

‘That’s having not played for nine months. If she can build up some matches, good things will follow.

‘If she can play 20 tournaments without any injury setbacks, I think that would be fantastic. She’s too good for the wins not to come. I do believe her level is that good. It’s much more about the process and less about the outcome.

‘She’s still massively inexperienced. If you do a number count of the matches she has played on the main tour, it is still so little.

‘She’s got to build up physical resilience and the experience of being on tour. Then she will be able to do herself justice. Post-US Open, she was still trying to build up her physicality at tournaments, which is hard to do.’

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