‘These courts are fit to play on!’: ASB Classic organizers hit back at furious Emma Raducanu for her criticism of the slippery indoor surface after rolling her ankle – claiming she was the only the player who had any problems in Auckland
- Emma Raducanu was critical on the indoor courts at the ASB Classic in Auckland
- The ASB tournament director hit back at the British No 1’s criticism
- Raducanu was expected to head to Australia but left this tournament in tears
ASB Classic boss Nicolas Lamperin has fired back at Emma Raducanu after she criticized the indoor surface where she rolled her ankle on Thursday.
The British No 1 left the court in tears after rolling her left ankle and being forced to retire in the second round of the ASB Classic against Viktoria Kuzmova, just 11 days before the season-opening Grand Slam in Australia.
He criticized the tournament and the surfaces for his injury but Lamperin hit back, saying the court was ‘fit to play’ and that Raducanu was the only player injured throughout the tournament.
Emma Raducanu walks off the court in tears after retiring from the ASB Classic in Auckland
Raducanu received attention from the trainer, but retired at the start of the third set
‘Obviously we are sorry for Emma’s injury,’ Lamperin said, according to New Zealand TV network 1news.
‘All the players work hard in the off-season and that’s not what you expect when you play a tournament in the first week.
‘However, injuries happen all the time and they could have happened on outdoor courts as well. We feel it [sorry] about the situation but we also say that these courts are fit to play.’
Lamperin added: ‘The courts have been checked and we’ve had a lot of matches on the indoor courts. We have no injuries apart from yesterday.
‘As for the tournament, with the support of the referee and the supervisor, we were able to play and use this court.’
Lamperin’s scathing response came after Raducanu took the unusual step of criticizing the tournament itself.
The Kent-based star is usually frank and forthright when it comes to his physical ailments but in Auckland his frustration, evident as he left the court in tears, left his Australian Open hopes in a thread.
It was unusual for Raducanu to score in the tournament itself, which triggered a response
‘The courts are incredibly smooth, like very slippery, so to be honest, it’s not surprising that it happened to someone,’ Raducanu told New Zealand website stuff.co.nz. She was forced to retire when Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova led 6-0, 5-7.
‘Auckland in general, it rained a lot this week, so I didn’t see too much and I thought some aspects could have been better, but overall I had good support.
‘It’s out of my control and after a very long day of waiting around. But we will check in the next few days and see what the next steps are.
‘It’s hard to take. I’ve put in a lot of physical work over the past few months and I’ve been feeling good and optimistic.
‘So to be stopped by a freak injury, rolling ankle, was a bit disappointing, in the first week as well. I thought I was playing pretty decent tennis.’
The British No 1 battled a series of injury problems in 2022 and hopes to do better in 2023