US Open champion Emma Raducanu needs time to mature physically and the 19-year-old should hire women experts who understand the female body, Judy Murray, a tennis coach and mother to three-time Grand Slam winner Andy, said.
Raducanu withdrew from next week’s WTA 250 event in Birmingham on Wednesday after suffering a “freak injury” at the Nottingham Open but is hopeful that she will be fit to play at Wimbledon.
The British teenager shot to stardom in September 2021 when she won the US Open title as a qualifier, becoming Britain’s first female Grand Slam champion since Virginia Wade in 1977.
Raducanu has, however, suffered a string of fitness issues since winning her maiden Grand Slam title and was knocked out in the second round of the French Open last month.
“What’s becoming increasingly clear is that Raducanu’s body needs time to mature,” Murray wrote in a column for The Telegraph.
“If you strip away the fact she was catapulted into this amazing success following her US Open triumph last September, she is no different to any other young player in the sense that her body needs time to fill out, become more robust and resilient.
Raducanu retires injured from Nottingham event ahead of Wimbledon
“It’s a process that simply doesn’t happen overnight, especially when the physical demands on her body are at an all-time high,” Murray said, adding that her son Andy suffered from cramping while moving up from the junior circuit to the ATP .
Murray also urged Raducanu to make more use of female expertise in taking care of her health, highlighting the example of Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen who opened up about how menstrual cramps derailed her run at the French Open.
“How many of today’s top female players, I wonder, are harnessing the peaks and troughs of their cycle and tailoring it to their training and performance?” Murray said.
“How many could feel more empowered by investing in a women’s health physio or specialist and making their entourage that bit more female-centric?”
“… the menstrual cycle and its impact on athletic performance is an area of sports science that has been woefully neglected and only now are we beginning to understand its impact on an athlete, both psychologically and physically.”