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Emma Raducanu physically up for Wimbledon campaign

Despite recently crashing out in the quarter-finals at Eastbourne, Emma Raducanu feels physically ready for her Wimbledon return.

The 2021 US Open champion, who missed the entire 2023 grass-court season following wrist and ankle surgery, has received a wild card for her home grand slam, which begins on Monday.

Having reached the semi-finals of the Nottingham Open earlier this month, her competitive preparation for the All England Club concluded with a resounding 6-2 6-2 loss to world number 14 Daria Kasatkina.

The 21-year-old, who registered impressive wins over Sloane Stephens and Jessica Pegula in the previous rounds of the Rothesay International, dismissed any concerns about her fitness.

"I wasn't tired at all. I was feeling really good," she said.

"I think I just dealt with the circumstances badly. Yeah, I was very inflexible in my approach. That's my honest reflection of the match.

"But physically I'm in a really good spot. I'm fine.

"I just need to learn to be more willing to adapt. I hadn't really played many matches in that level of wind.

"Daria actually plays really good in those conditions, because she makes it very awkward for the opponent. I just think she handled it a lot better."

Raducanu began the week by declaring herself back in love with tennis before impressively overcoming American duo Stephens and Pegula.

But, with the second of those victories a gruelling, three-set affair, she failed to get to grips with Russian sixth seed Kasatkina as she followed fellow Britons Katie Boulter and Harriet Dart in suffering straight-sets elimination on Thursday.

"I think I should be very confident," Raducanu replied when asked how she was feeling mentally ahead of Wimbledon.

"I feel like I have every right to be in the position that I am now, because I have been training, I have been working for it.

"I'm looking forward to it. I'm very happy to be back in London. It's where I call home. It's where I missed last year so much."

British number one Boulter believes she is playing the best tennis of her career ahead of being seeded at Wimbledon for the first time.

Yet the 27-year-old, who defeated Raducanu en route to retaining the Nottingham title, was comfortably second best on Thursday during a 6-1 7-6 (0) loss to French Open finalist Jasmine Paolini.

"I think I have played some brilliant tennis this week, last week, the week before," said Boulter, who beat Petra Martic and Jelena Ostapenko in the previous rounds in Sussex.

"I'm not worried too much about anything.

"I don't know what's going to happen next week. But one thing I do know is that this is the best tennis I have been playing for a very long time, I think ever actually in my career.

"I have been building this for a very long time in terms of the way that I have been playing more consistently and my strength and the power that I'm bringing each time I step on the court.

"But, at the same time, I'm realistic. There are some tough draws out there.

"Obviously first time seeded for me, which was a goal of mine. I am looking forward to getting out there."

Dart completed a hat-trick of British quarter-final exits in the women's draw at Devonshire Park, losing 6-2 6-1 to Leylah Fernandez.

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