Emma Raducanu has cast doubt on her availability for Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup tie against France in April.
The former US Open champion has made only one senior appearance for her country, in a tie against the Czech Republic in 2022, missing the finals event later that year, last April’s defeat by France and November’s victory over Sweden because of her wrist problems.
GB captain Anne Keothavong was also unimpressed by Raducanu claiming she did not know when last year’s France tie was when asked about her possible participation.
There is no doubt that a fit Raducanu would strengthen Keothavong’s options for the France rematch on April 12-13, but the 21-year-old was cautious when asked whether the competition is a priority for her.
She said: “Of course I always love representing my country but, that being said, because of the amount of niggles and the rehab process, I think whatever suits my schedule and my fitness the best is going to have to take priority, especially this year.
“For example, if there’s a change in surface straightaway, too close in succession, I think I’d have to evaluate what I do. The most sensible thing for me is staying healthy. That’s the priority for the year.
“I can’t say either way. But my intention is good, I want to play.”
The 21-year-old had more physical problems in her second-round loss at the Australian Open to Wang Yafan on Thursday, but it was an unfortunately-timed stomach bug rather than any injury worry.
Raducanu was able to finish what was a long and physical match, and leaves Australia encouraged by the early stages of her comeback following operations on both wrists and one ankle last spring.
“I’m very positive, very happy with how my body is,” she said. “I think the wrist in particular was something that I struggled with in coming back because I just had a setback for a few months, so I couldn’t play until late November again really.
“I think that tidying up some of the areas, tidying up a bit of technique and things, also just getting used to playing matches outdoors, as well, because the conditions were very windy.
“I think she (Wang) handled it a lot better, the wind. She junk-balled me. She moon-balled me. She gave me a lot of these scrappy little shots, but it worked. I need to spend more time on tour, spend more time training, and putting good weeks together.”
Raducanu is next expected to play at the Abu Dhabi Open, beginning on February 5, where she has been given a wild card.