Emma Raducanu is in the draw to play at the Indian Wells 2023 BNP Paribas Open this week but has had to pull out of a charity exhibition event just two days before her proposed opening round match in the desert. The 20-year-old was due to play mixed doubles with Cameron Norrie in the Eisenhower Cup but withdrew and has not played a tournament since the Australian Open in January.
The 2021 US Open champion was also expected to play last week’s WTA tournament in Texas but was forced to withdraw due to tonsillitis. She has previously spoken of being protective of her body this year after retiring from four matches last season.
Speaking ahead of her match, Raducanu said: “The same issue that I had last year has started to flare back up. I think we always play through pain and it’s just a matter of how much can you take - I’m looking forward to hopefully
Here is all you need to know ahead of Raducanu’s first round fixture...
When is Emma Raducanu’s first round match?
The British women’s number one will take to the court later Thursday 9 March 2023. She is scheduled to step out on to Court 1 for a 8.15pm GMT start. This time will likely change depending on the length of the previous matches.
Who is her opponent?
The British hopeful will face the world number62 Danka Kovinic in the first round. This will be the pair’s second meeting after Kovinic upset the young Briton 6-4 4-6 6-3 to reach the third round in Melbourne Park. During the fixture, Raducanu was suffering with tremendous blisters but still managed to take the match to the third set before finally succumbing to her Montenegrin opponent.
28-year-old Kovinic has previously reached a career high of number 46 in the WTA singles rankings, an achievement she managed in February 2016. She has previously reached the third round of both the Australian and French Open but is yet to make it any further in a Grand Slam. Kovinic has also lost her last three meetings and has not been playing her best tennis of late, with the odds in favour of a Raducanu victory in the desert.
The winner of the first round match will take on Poland’s Magda Linette in the second round of the tournament.
How to watch Emma Raducanu
Amazon Prime will have all of the coverage from the upcoming Indian Wells tournament. The first 30 days of Prime subscriptions are free for new members, after which it will cost £8.99/month
Who else is in the BNP Paribas Open draw?
Raducanu will be joined in the WTA tournament by the world number one Iga Swiatek and world number two Aryna Sabalenka. Swiatek is the 2022 Indian Wells champion and could well face Britain’s Raducanu in the fourth round of the tournament.
Former Grand Slam champions Sloane Stephens and Sofia Kenin have drawn each other in the first round while Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina awaits the winner of the all-American clash.
In the men’s tournament, Andy Murray, Jack Draper, Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie will all be representing the British contingent. Murray, Evans and Draper have all been drawn in the same section as the top seed Carlos Alcaraz. Evans will join the tournament in the second round of the tournament since he is in the top 32 ranked players and could face Draper in his first match.
The winner of that could then play Murray meaning that by the fourth round, it guarantees two Brits will be out of the tournament.