Tim Henman has warned Emma Raducanu fans to lower their expectations ahead of the 21-year-old’s return to action. Raducanu missed the majoirty of the 2023 campaign through injury but she has signed up for the Brisbane International that kicks off on December 31.
Raducanu has undergone a number of injuries so Henman has suggested that it may take a few months before she really clicks into gear.
“It’s massively exciting to have Raducanu coming back,” Henman told Eurosport. “I think it’s important that everybody around tennis who’s a fan, who’s excited to see Raducanu back on the court, manages their expectations. She’s been out for a long, long time and she’s still massively inexperienced. She’s played so few tour level events, she’s played so few matches in her whole professional career.
“So for me, from, let’s say, the first three, four months of the year, I think if she could stay injury free and play a whole series of tournaments without any setbacks, I think that would be fantastic because there is no doubt about her ability.”
Raducanu is hoping to come through the Brisbane event unscathed so she can have a shot at the first Grand Slam of the year on January 15. However, the US Open winner has fallen down the world rankings and may need to come through qualifying to gain entry into the Australian Open.
Henman added: “She’s an incredible tennis player. She’s working hard to build her physical resilience so that she can be out on court, be on tour and compete.
“I think patience is a really important word for Raducanu herself, but also all the people that are excited to see her come back.
“She’s 21 years of age. She’s got the next ten years in front of her. She just needs to build that foundation so that she can get out on tour and compete and show the undeniable talents that she has.”