Emma Raducanu says she has “full confidence” in the ankle injury that threatened her appearance at the Australian Open.
The 20-year-old Briton rolled her left ankle in Auckland nine days ago but says she is ready to play in Melbourne.
Raducanu, ranked 75th in the world, will face Germany’s Tamara Korpatsch in the first round on Monday.
“I was able to do some preparation, although more limited than usual. But I feel well placed to go out there and give my best,” she said.
Raducanu, who stunned the world by winning the 2021 US Open as a qualified teenager, was hoping to put behind her the injury troubles that marred her first full year on the WTA Tour.
But, after a two-month block of fitness designed to prepare her body for the rigors of the season, her preparations for Melbourne were hampered when she suffered what she described as an ‘accident’ that she never couldn’t avoid.
It only happened in her second game of the year, when she faced Slovak Viktoria Kuzmova in Auckland, and left her in tears when she walked off the pitch.
Raducanu’s mobility in training at Melbourne Park this week initially looked difficult, but on Thursday – when the tournament draw was made – she was moving freely and looked in good enough shape to play.
“We were a little shaken but we remained optimistic,” she said during her press conference on Saturday.
“It was a team effort to get me to this place. We built it quite gradually.
“For the ankle, I feel really good. It’s going to be more introducing some things, and the pace at which we’ve had to do that has been really fast.
“But I’ve never really played tennis in my career, so I’m a bit used to it. And I’m not so stressed about the lack of tennis.”
Spain’s 11th seed Paula Badosa and Australian prospect Ajla Tomljanovic – who has reached the quarter-finals in the last two majors – both withdrew due to injury on Saturday.
Badosa suffered a thigh injury during a warm-up tournament in Adelaide, while Tomljanovic suffered a knee injury during the United Cup mixed team tournament.