Emma Raducanu earns Indian Wells Open boost as she looks to bounce back after nightmare spell

Emma Raducanu takes a break Credit: Alamy
Emma Raducanu takes a break Credit: Alamy

Emma Raducanu has received a direct entry into the Indian Wells Open, and she will hope the tournament helps to reignite not only her 2023 season but her career following a difficult couple of months.

The 2021 US Open champion initially missed the cut for an entry into the WTA 1000 event at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California as her ranking was too low, but was handed a wildcard from organisers.

Following the withdrawal of a few players above her in the rankings, the 20-year-old has been bumped into the main draw with a direct entry. Raducanu will hope the Indian Wells tournament, which starts on March 8, will help her to turn her form around.

The British No 1’s last competitive match was in January when she suffered a straight-sets defeat at the hands of Coco Gauff in the second round of the Australian Open.

She was due to play in the inaugural ATX Open in Texas this week, but withdrew before the main draw was made due to illness.

“I am currently suffering from tonsillitis and am unable to compete this week,” she announced in a statement on Saturday, although the following day she gave an update via Instagram stating that she is “on the mend”.

Next up is the Indian Wells Open and she will be hoping for a couple wins to rise up the rankings as she currently finds herself at No 80 following very little playing activity this year.

Raducanu has played only three complete matches this year as, besides the Australian Open, she also competed at the ASB Classic in Auckland and she won her opener before retiring midway through her second-round match due to injury.

The former world No 10 was seeded third at last year’s Indian Wells event and received a bye into the second round. After beating Caroline Garcia in three sets, she was defeat by Petra Martic in the next round.

And her performance in California was her 2022 season in a nutshell as she struggled with form, fitness and injury, and reached the quarter-final of only three tournaments.

It remains to be seen if she will compete in the second leg of the Sunshine Double, the Miami Open, as she also missed the cut for a direct entry. However, organisers are yet to confirm wildcards for the WTA 1000 tournament while she could also opt to take part in qualifying.

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