Emma Raducanu begins 2024 comeback at Auckland ASB Classic

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu is planning her long-awaited comeback to the WTA Tour as a wild card at the Auckland ASB Classic in New Zealand on January 1, 2024.  Raducanu has been off the court since last spring with significant injuries requiring surgeries on each wrist and one ankle.

Despite being out for most of 2023, Raducanu was ranked among the top ten highest-paid female athletes largely because of lucrative endorsements.  In her only Grand Slam appearance in 2023, she lost in the second round of the Australian Open to Coco Gauff.

There has been a lot of curiosity surrounding the 21-year-old Raducanu since she came out of nowhere to win the US Open as a qualifier. In the two years since her victory, she has endured injuries and frequent coaching changes. Fans wonder if she can rise through the rankings and win tournaments if she stays healthy and with a consistent team behind her.

Will Emma Raducanu compete at the 2024 Australian Open?

Raducanu has been granted a special ranking of 103 for the 2024 Australian Open. The main draw cutoff is 99th this year so she is currently not in the main draw. Her path to the main draw will be through withdrawals of players, a wildcard, or qualification matches.

Wild cards tend to be reserved for hometown players and former champions. Caroline Wozniacki, the 2018 Australian Open champion, received a wildcard earlier this week.

For now, Raducanu is concentrating on getting back on the court in Aukland and gaining valuable match play which is completely different than practice points and matches.  Her path into the 2024 Australian Open will be determined in the coming weeks.

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