Emma Raducanu raises hopes she will be fit for Wimbledon after returning to the practice courts following injury lay-off… with British No 1 set to wait until shortly before Friday morning’s draw before making decision

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Emma Raducanu has raised hopes she will be fit to play Wimbledon by returning to practice at the All England Club.

The US Open champion has spent the last two days sparring with her hitting partner, American pro Raymond Sarmiento, as she seeks to build up her workload following an injury layoff.

Raducanu, who retired from her first-round match at the Nottingham Open two weeks ago, managed a couple of brief sessions late last week but is anxious not to aggravate the side strain she suffered there.

Emma Raducanu

She pulled out of the WTA tournament in Birmingham and did not go ahead with plans to enter Eastbourne.

At best she will have only seven competitive games on grass going into Wimbledon, but is desperate to make the start line for The Championships.

Unless there is a major setback in the next 48 hours she is likely to wait until shortly before Friday morning’s draw before making a decision.

One of Raducanu’s friends in the British game, Surrey’s Jodie Burrage, scored the best win of her career at Eastbourne on Monday after arriving at midnight the previous evening.

Emma Raducanu

Burrage beat former world No 14 Petra Martic of Croatia 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 to make the second round, in which she will play top seed Paula Badosa of Spain.

A frantic 24 hours saw her play at opposite ends of the country, travelling down from Yorkshire on Sunday after making the final of the $100,000 tournament in Ilkley.

‘It took me just over six hours to drive down,’ said GB No 5 Burrage, 23. ‘I was absolutely knackered. It had been a long week there so I slept well.’

Emma Raducanu

Monday’s win will put her on the verge of making the world’s top 150.

‘I have taken a lot of confidence and belief from there and I’m riding that wave at the moment,’ said Burrage. ‘I can’t wait to play Badosa on the big court in front of that crowd.

‘The work I have been doing is paying off. I’m moving much better than I was and I’m really enjoying the grass.’

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