Emma Raducanu retires in the final set of the Guadalajara Open first round

Defending US Open champion Emma Raducanu was forced to retire due to a hip injury in the final set of a first marathon competition since retiring from the Australian Open.

The No. 1 seed was forced to retire after three hours and 36 minutes in the first round of the Guadalajara Open, with Australia’s Daria Saville advancing 5-7, 7-6(4), 4-3 from longest match of the WTA season. .

Raducanu won the first set after a tough 80 minutes as she bounced back from an early break for herself to break Saville in the final game.

The Briton served for the match at 5-3 in the second but Saville fired back to force a tie-break which she played cleanly to claim the set.

Both women appeared to be playing through the pain of the decider, with Saville battling leg cramps and Raducanu taking a medical time-out off the pitch.

The world number 12 returned to the pitch with tape on her upper left leg and played two more games before deciding to retire after a break.

Open champion Emma Raducanu retired in the first round of the Guadalajara Open” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

Defending US Open champion Emma Raducanu retired in the first round of the Guadalajara Open

The retirement comes weeks after Raducanu was dropped from the first Grand Slam of the year by world No. 98 Danka Kovinic after her performance was hampered by a blister early in the match.

She lost in straight sets in Melbourne and admitted the blister caused her a lot of pain after receiving treatment on her hand between matches, saying the problem was likely caused by a lack of tennis before her trip to Australia .

Earlier this month the tennis sensation showed the blister on his hand that marred his progress at the Australian Open last month, revealing the problem was still visible two weeks after being knocked out in the second tower.

Australian Daria Saville advanced 5-7, 7-6(4), 4-3 in the longest match of the WTA season

Australian Daria Saville advanced 5-7, 7-6(4), 4-3 in the longest match of the WTA season

The loss comes weeks after Raducanu showed the ugly blister that led to his shock defeat at the Australian Open

The loss comes weeks after Raducanu showed the ugly blister that led to his shock defeat at the Australian Open

The 19-year-old traveled to Singapore to take some time off from tennis as she revealed the blister was still visible two weeks after her shock exit.

The 19-year-old traveled to Singapore to take some time off from tennis as she revealed the blister was still visible two weeks after her shock exit.

The 19-year-old revealed the ugly blister to her Instagram followers, which still looked sore two weeks after exiting the tournament.

Raducanu took time off from tennis to visit Singapore and uploaded a photo of his hands after enjoying a meal at a restaurant.

She wrote: ‘Singapore!! We worked, got stuck (literally..), enjoyed the great culture, got better and had so much fun here. Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome, you made it even more special. I’ll be back!!’

Raducanu’s defeat at the Australian Open extended his difficult period since his fairy tale triumph at the US Open last year.

She exited in the first round of the Indian Wells tournament in October against world No. 100 Aliaksandra Sasnovich – her first competition since that remarkable feat – and lost to Marta Kostyuk in the quarterfinals of the Transylvania Open the same month. .

The US Open champion suffered from the problem early in her second-round loss to Danka Kovinic in last month's Grand Slam.

The US Open champion suffered from the problem early in her second-round loss to Danka Kovinic in last month’s Grand Slam.

And she also suffered a defeat in the round of 16 at the Linz Open in November before a first-round loss to Elena Rybakina at the Sydney Classic just before heading to the Australian Open.

Raducanu had brought hope of regaining her form at the US Open when she won her first match at the Melbourne Grand Slam – beating Sloane Stephens in straight sets, before collapsing to defeat Kovinic.

She revealed the true extent of her agony, admitting after the match that it affected her grip and made the problem worse with every hard blow.

“That’s just the position of this one,” she said. “It’s just in the crease of the palm, it’s so deep. I just can’t grip the racquet. Like every time I kick, every time I make contact with the ball, it creates an impact, if I hit one slightly off center and the racquet moves a bit in my hand, it’s even more friction and it rips again, so it’s very painful, every shot I hit.

Raducanu has endured a tough time in tennis since his incredible triumph at the US Open last year

Raducanu has endured a tough time in tennis since his incredible triumph at the US Open last year

Raducanu said the blister could have been caused by a lack of activity after going 21 days without playing before arriving in Australia – saying it was a tough pill to swallow leaving the tournament in this manner.

“I’ve been battling with blisters ever since I started playing in Australia because 21 days without tennis my hands got quite soft,” she added.

“From day one I had blisters. This one in particular has been with me for about five days, and I tried to log it every workout. It would harden and dry out, but once I Played again, another layer would come off. It’s just in a very awkward position that’s hard to record.

“We’ve tried so many different alternatives, and they all end up failing or leaving me with no feel of my racquet. I fought so hard just to come and play here, I didn’t want to come out like this.

MailOnline revealed last week that Raducanu had inspired thousands of youngsters to take up tennis, although the ‘Emma Raducanu effect’ has left some clubs with year-long waiting lists.

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