When is Emma Raducanu playing next? Is she playing at Indian Wells and will she play the clay season? With the British No. 1 set to return to action this month, we look at what’s next on her schedule and how much she could move up the rankings. Watch every moment of Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on discovery+
Emma Raducanu is set to return to action this month.
The British No. 1 has not played since losing in the second round of the Australian Open in January to Danka Kovinic. That was just Raducanu’s second tournament of the year after her pre-season plans were disrupted by testing positive for Covid-19 in December.
Raducanu stopped off in Singapore on her way back from Australia and spent some time on the practice court with new coach Torben Beltz.
She is now back in the UK before heading off again to resume her first full season on the WTA Tour.
WHEN IS RADUCANU PLAYING NEXT?
World No. 13 Raducanu is not scheduled to play again until February 21.
The 19-year-old is entered into the Abierto Akron Zapopan in Guadalajara, which is a WTA 250 event on hard courts. She will then stay in Mexico and play in the Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterrey the following week.
It will be Raducanu’s first time playing in Mexico and she could be one of the top seeds at both events.
World No. 45 Nadia Podoroska was the top seed last year in Guadalajara, which was won by world No. 70 Sara Sorribes Tormo. In Monterrey the top seed was Sloane Stephens, who was then ranked No. 44 in the world, and the winner of the tournament was Leylah Fernandez, who Raducanu beat in the final of the 2021 US Open.
WILL RADUCANU PLAY INDIAN WELLS?
It seems likely that Raducanu’s next stop after Monterrey will be the WTA 1000 event in Indian Wells.
Now back in its normal March spot, having been postponed and rescheduled for the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Indian Well is arguably the biggest tournament on the calendar outside of the Grand Slams.
It was the first event that Raducanu played after winning the US Open last year. She was beaten in the first round by world No 100. Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
The next stop on the tour after Indian Wells is the WTA 1000 Miami Open, which Raducanu will be playing for the first time in her career.
WILL RADUCANU PLAY ON CLAY?
Raducanu will get her first taste of clay on the WTA Tour after the Miami Open.
The clay season starts in early April with events in the USA and Colombia before heading to Europe, building up to the French Open, which gets under way on May 22.
Raducanu reached finals on clay in Bournemouth and Schifflange, Luxembourg as a junior in 2016. She was also part of the Great Britain squad that played against Slovakia on clay in the Billie Jean King Cup qualifying round in 2020, although she didn’t get on court in singles or doubles.
Former British No. 1 Tim Henman told Eurosport that he thinks the clay season represents a ‘great’ chance for Raducanu to keep developing and improving her game.
Henman said: “I think the most difficult aspects of clay court tennis when you don’t have the experience is the movement and sliding in and out of shots and really learning the movement, which is absolutely critical on clay.
“That will take time but when you look at her athletic ability, her balance, her speed of movement, there’s no reason why she can’t do that well. When you look at a baseline game which is going to be the nuts and bolts of clay court tennis she’s so solid on both wings she can generate power.
“So it will be a great opportunity for her to keep developing and irrespective of the results whether she gets wins on clay I don’t think that really matters an enormous amount because that foundation work you put in on the clay over those months in Europe leading up to Roland Garros will pay off on other surfaces.”
HOW HIGH COULD RADUCANU CLIMB IN THE RANKINGS?
Raducanu has moved up to No. 13 in the rankings this year, despite only winning one match.
That’s largely because she is still in the unique position of having no points to defend until the summer. Any good results over the next few months will see her move even higher, especially if those above her drop significant points from their ranking.
Raducanu is currently on 2664 ranking points, fewer than 100 points behind world No. 12 Elena Rybakina and only 400 points outside the top 10.
There are 280 ranking points on offer to the winner at WTA 250 events while the champions in Indian Wells and Miami will get 1000 points.
WHAT HAS RADUCANU SAID ABOUT HER START TO THE YEAR?
After a disrupted pre-season, Raducanu said she was hoping to use the post-Australian Open period to catch up on her fitness.
“I feel like I’m going to for sure get fit just playing tournaments week in, week out,” she said after losing in Melbourne.
“But I really feel like I need to dedicate some time to it, as well. I know that after this I’ve got a few weeks where I want to try and do as much of catch-up as possible in terms of like fitness and my pre-season, because I missed it actually in December.”
Raducanu, who was hampered by blisters in her loss to Kovinic, also said she took some positives from her experiences in Australia.
“I did discover elements of my game I didn’t know I had before, and I can use that going forward,” she said. “I just know that I’ve got that fight in me, even if I have got like one shot I know that I can pull myself out of deep situations.
“Because I’m still young, I feel like I can learn a backhand, I can learn some sort of tactics, but it’s quite hard to learn or teach someone that fight and grittiness to hang in there when things are pretty much all against you. So I’m quite proud of that.”