Eighteen-year-old Tennis sensation Emma Raducanu is set to return to the tennis court for the first time since her triumphant win at the US Open in September.
Playing in her first WTA Tour in June 2021, she then went on to make the final 16 at the Wimbledon Championships in July before flying through to win the US Open in New York without dropping a single set.
The teenager from Bromley became the first ever qualifier to win the US Open and was the first British woman to win the tournament since Virginia Wade in 1977.
At the end of this week, Raducanu will make a return with the racket and if she is successful in the second round looks likely to face one of her idols, Simona Halep, in the third round.
Emma Raducanu was given a wildcard entry to this year’s Indian Wells tournament in California. After her US Open success, she moved from ranking at 150th to 22nd and while her current ranking would allow her to qualify for the tournament automatically, the initial qualification deadline was set before she won her first Grand Slam.
Without the wildcard, Raducanu would have to have gone through the initial qualifying matches, much like she did in New York, in order to get through to the main stages of the BNP Paribas Open.
When will Emma Raducanu play at Indian Wells 2021?
The first round qualifiers for the tournament are currently underway with the second round taking place Friday 8 October and Saturday 9 October 2021.
As Raducanu is now ranked 22, she is among the 32 seeds and has therefore received a bye in the first round sending her straight to the second round.
Her match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich is the fourth scheduled match in Stadium One, meaning Raducanu is likely to be on court around 2am on Saturday 9 October (UK time).
Who will Emma Raducanu play?
Emma Raducanu will face either world No 71 Maria Camila Osorio Serrano from Colombia or world no 100 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus.
Serrano and Sasnovich will play each other in the first round on Wednesday 6 October before one of the two will face the rising tennis star on Friday 8 October or Saturday 9 October.
Due to a higher ranking, Serrano has the winning advantage over Sasnovich and is therefore likely to face Raducanu in the second round.
Ranking 17th, Halep is predicted to make it to the third round where she would face Raducanu if Raducanu were herself successful against Serrano or Sasnovich. The former World Number One has long been an idol for Raducanu, not least because Halep and Raducanu’s father are both Romanian.
The young Briton has often stated that she has looked up to Halep, modelling her game and athleticism on the two time Grand Slam winner.
Where next for Emma Raducanu after Indian Wells 2021?
Emma Raducanu’s success at Indian Wells may also give her a slim chance of qualifying for the end-of-year championship. She is already expected to rise further up the standings over the next month. Others are set to lose points that have remained on their ranking from previous tournaments last year but as a newcomer, Raducanu can only gain points.
After California, the teenager will fly to Moscow to compete in the Kremlin Cup which starts on 18 October 2021 before heading to Cluj, Romania, for the Transylvania Open.
With the current absences of Naomi Osaka and Ashleigh Barty from the upcoming Opens, Raducanu has a strong likelihood of making the WTA Final if she is able to give strong performances at the next three tournaments.
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