Raducanu retires in Rome as back injury persists

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Briton Emma Raducanu was unable to overcome a back injury which forced her to retire from her first-round match against Bianca Andreescu at the Italian Open on Tuesday.

 Raducanu, who had also struggled with a back injury during her previous tournament in Madrid and a hip injury earlier this year, was trailing 6-2 2-1 when she called it quits.

 “Definitely disappointed with how today went. But I guess I wanted to give it a try. I never really knew how bad it was until I kind of went out there,” Raducanu told reporters. “I’m still learning when it’s right to push my body and push through it, and when it’s not. I guess that’s something I’m learning at these tournaments.

 “After Madrid I thought that maybe taking one, two days off, it would just go away because a lot of the other small niggles I’ve had, they’ve kind of gone away after taking two days off.”

 The battle of the reigning and former U.S. Open champions on clay looked an intriguing prospect, but Raducanu struggled from the outset and served poorly, handing Andreescu a number of break points. Raducanu was clutching her back when she took a medical timeout after going 5-2 down, but returned to the court minutes later where the Canadian held to love to take the opening set. (Reuters)