Emma Raducanu and Jack Draper can be encouraged by recent performances… but their Indian Wells exits will remind them of the need to be more physically resilient to compete at the top level
Jack Draper and Emma Raducanu saw their runs at Indian Wells end at the hands of the top seeds, with reminders that both need to build more physical resilience.
They could nonetheless look back on encouraging weeks that have bolstered their rankings, with the promise of more to come if they can withstand the rigours of regular competition.
Draper will be back close to the world’s top 40, but was again hit by injury as he retired 6-2 2-0 against US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz due to a strained abdominal muscle.
‘I was doing further damage, so there was no point in making it worse,’ the 21-year-old told BBC Sport. ‘At the end of my match against Andy (Murray, in the third round), I had a bit of hip pain but my ab towards the end was getting sorer.’
He is due to have it scanned to see if there is a chance he can play the Miami Open next week, otherwise he will head onto the European clay having managed only one tournament since the middle of January.
Emma Raducanu’s Indian Wells tournament is over after defeat against world number one Iga Swiatek
Raducanu admitted that in slower night time conditions she found it hard work against world number one Iga Swiatek, and after a competitive first set she went down 6-3 6-1.
The 20 year-old from Kent, whose three wins will take her up to the verge of the top 70, stated afterwards that she still believes she is only at around 35 per cent of her long-term potential.
‘It’s just about consistent work to physically get to where I want to be,’ said Raducanu. ‘I had a taste of the level where the number one is at physically and how she is in the corners, repetitive, relentless. Yeah, I just couldn’t take that.
Raducanu impressed in the tournament but was reminded of the need to be more physically resilient
‘When conditions are heavier and it’s colder at night and the court is slow she makes a lot of balls, she defends really well, plays heavy. If your ball isn’t penetrating the court going through and fast enough, she likes it. It sits up, then she has time to kind of manipulate the play and dictate how she wants to.
‘I found it harder to play the way I had been the previous three matches, where it was daytime, a lot faster.
‘I feel like physically she is much further ahead than I am at this moment.’
Few, if any, players can claim that they have a better engine than Cam Norrie, who on Wednesday is playing in the quarter finals against American Frances Tiafoe. He clocked up an impressive 21st win of the season when he defeated number six seed Andrey Rublev 6-2 6-4 in the fourth round.