Emma Raducanu is set to make her return to the tennis circuit in Auckland during the first week of January. The 2021 US Open champion has been sidelined since April due to injuries, causing her world ranking to drop to 296. Raducanu has received a wildcard entry into the ASB Classic, where she will join the likes of Coco Gauff and Caroline Wozniacki.
Having undergone three operations and facing challenges that led to a fall in the rankings, Raducanu’s comeback is eagerly anticipated. The Auckland Classic, scheduled from January 1-7, serves as a crucial preparatory event leading up to the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the season beginning on January 14.
Raducanu’s limited appearances in 2023 were marked by injuries, including surgery on both hands and her left ankle. The persistent hand pain, stemming from a bone near her wrists, had been a concern since the end of the 2022 season. With a protected ranking of 103, based on her ranking at the conclusion of the Madrid Open, Raducanu aims to navigate her way into the Australian Open, potentially through qualifying or a wildcard entry.
Despite withdrawing from a December exhibition match in Macau, Raducanu has been making progress in training at the National Tennis Centre in London. Her decision to compete in Auckland aligns with her commitment to regain form and competitiveness. As preparations continue, the tennis world eagerly awaits Raducanu’s return to the court and the impact she will make in the upcoming season.