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Confident Raducanu happy to be back on Wimbledon grass

LONDON : British hope Emma Raducanu is glad to be back on court after missing Wimbledon last year because of injury and spending much of the tournament in hospitality suites.

Raducanu's career was blasted into the stratosphere when she won the 2021 U.S. Open champion as a qualifier but she has struggled since with a succession of injuries.

Last year she sat out her home Grand Slam following surgery to her hands and ankle and found herself entertaining VIP guests at Wimbledon.

This time the world number 168 arrives fully fit and full of confidence after being handed a wildcard and will face seeded Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova on Centre Court on Monday.

"I'm very happy to be back here. I think I've missed this tournament so much," the 21-year-old told reporters.

"Last year, I was actually on the other side doing a lot of suite visits, hospitality. It was really hard because you would walk through the same player tunnel, see your peers going to practice, going to play their match.

"I think being on the other side just really stung. It wasn't nice and I didn't really watch any of the tennis either. For me to be on this side of it this year is just super special. Just so happy to be out on the grass."

Raducanu returned from a lengthy layoff at the start of the year and while consistent results have been challenging, she has shown signs of a return to top form.

She reached the quarter-finals at Eastbourne last week, beating former U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens and American world number five Jessica Pegula on the way.

"I would say this preparation has worked out really well. I got a great balance between matches, but also staying fresh and not playing too much," Raducanu said.

"I think the Eastbourne week, it was really helpful in