Emma Raducanu Enters Australian Open Main Draw After Series Of Late Withdrawal

Femi Onasanya By Femi Onasanya - Sports Reporter
3 Min Read

Emma Raducanu has been granted straight entrance into the Australian Open main event after several late withdrawals.

At the ASB Classic in Auckland on Tuesday, the 2021 US Open champion triumphantly returned to the court after being out since April due to surgeries on both wrists and one ankle.

She defeated Romanian qualifier Gabriela Ruse 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 to begin her comeback to competition and advance to the ASB Classic second round in Auckland.

Raducanu’s protected ranking—a ranking awarded to athletes who have been sidelined for an extended period of time—seemed to be insufficient, meaning she would have to go through qualification in order to compete in the Australian Open.

However, the 21-year-old will replace American Lauren Davis in the main draw after the American withdrew due to a shoulder injury, the Australian Open revealed in a statement on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday.

Karolina Muchova, Irina-Camelia Begu, Caty McNally, and now Davis are the players who have withdrawn from competition.

Petra Kvitova, the two-time Wimbledon champion, has also withdrew from the competition following the announcement of her first-child pregnancy.

Raducanu, who played in just nine matches in 2023, looked relatively fresh against Ruse at first, finishing the opening set in 37 minutes after taking advantage of her third break point in game eight.

But as soon as Ruse answered, any expectations of an easy ride were shattered.

In an 11-minute opening game of the second set, world number 134 tenaciously saved three break points. Raducanu then lost two of his next three service games, which allowed the world number 134 to take the lead.

Raducanu showed tenacity to come back and serve while trailing 5-2, but he was unable to maintain the lead, and the match proceeded to a decider.

Throughout the competition, the 21-year-old displayed glimpses of her best qualities, including a wonderful backhand slice winner, and she would not be defeated, even in the face of a tough challenge from Ruse.

After blowing a 5-2 lead in the last set and missing two match points on her opponent’s serve, she persevered to make sure that her eight months of absence from competition paid off with a promising comeback win.

After undergoing surgery in April, Raducanu was thrilled with her first performance since playing in Stuttgart.

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By Femi Onasanya Sports Reporter
Femi is a sport enthusiast, writer and commentator. Passionate about Sports and physical therapy with a flair for writing.