Emma Raducanu returns to action as she finds out her first opponent and draw at Slovenia Open

·2-min read
A fully focused Emma Raducanu US Open Credit: PA Images
A fully focused Emma Raducanu US Open Credit: PA Images

Former US Open champion Emma Raducanu said after her Flushing Meadows exit “I want new experiences” and that is what she will get this week as she makes her debut at the Slovenia Open.

The teenager lost in the first round of the season-ending Grand Slam and her defeat resulted in a slump to No 83 in the WTA Rankings after 2,030 points came off her total.

Raducanu is yet to win three matches in a row since her fairytale run at the US Open last year and a couple of wins in Slovenia would not only boost her confidence, but also help her to start her climb back up the rankings.

Raducanu was upbeat despite her disappointing loss as she stated after the match: “Regardless of what it is, it sounds weird, but, US Open defending champion, obviously it would have been great to defend the title, but I want new experiences. In a way I’ve done that so I want another tournament.”

She accepted a wildcard entry into the WTA 250 event in Portoroz and she is the top seed for the European outdoor hard-court tournament.

The 19-year-old, who has a 13-16 win-loss record in 2022, will open her campaign against world No 89 Dayana Yastremska from Ukraine in the first round on Monday with the match set to start at 18:00 BST.

The winner of that encounter will face either Elizabeth Mandlik, daughter of tennis great Hana Mandlikova, or a lucky loser in the second round.

Ninth seed Anastasia Potapova or Donna Vekic could be a quarter-final opponent.

Sixth seed Alize Cornet, who defeated Raducanu in the first round of the US Open, is a projected semi-final rival as she is also top half of the draw. Although the Frenchwoman could face fourth seed Martina Trevisan or defending champion Jasmine Paolini early on.

Second seed Beatriz Haddad Maia headlines the bottom half and the Brazilian will face Dane Clara Tauson in her opener while Ajla Tomljanovic, who reached the quarter-final at Flushing Meadows last week, is a projected quarter-final opponent.

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina is seeded third and is likely to be a semi-final rival if all goes according to the form book, although the Kazakh player – who is up against Laura Siegemund in the first round – is not in good form as she also exited the US Open in the first round.

Raducanu could be joined in the main draw by two more Brits as Harriet Dart and Jodie Burrage are in the final qualifying round, which is due to be completed on Monday.

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