Emma Raducanu may not be targeting the season-ending WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico after pulling out of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, but the US Open champion still has plenty of tournaments coming up her preparations for next year’s Australian Open in Melbourne hots up
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 15/10/21 11:53am
Emma Raducanu may have pulled out of this month’s Kremlin Cup in Moscow, but the US Open champion still has plenty of tournaments coming up to end her remarkable year.
Raducanu’s stunning win at this year’s US Open catapulted her to worldwide stardom.
She did not drop a set in 10 matches en route to the title at Flushing Meadows but she has played only one match since, suffering a second-round defeat to Aliaksandra Sasnovich at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells to head back to the drawing board.
Raducanu had been due to be back on court at the WTA 500 tournament in Moscow, which takes place between October 18-24, but the Brit announced that she is unable to play at the event this year.
Her withdrawal has most likely ended her hopes of reaching the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico, featuring the top eight singles players.
Reigning champion Ashleigh Barty, world No 2 Aryna Sabalenka and this year’s Roland Garros winner Barbora Krejcikova have already qualified for the season-ending extravaganza, while British No 1 Raducanu is currently in 15th position on 2282 points, despite having played just four tournaments in 2021.
Naomi Osaka holds eighth spot on 2771 points, but there are major doubts over whether Barty and Osaka will play.
Transylvania Open, Romania, October 25-31 [WTA 250]
The 18-year-old said she is looking forward to returning to the Tour “in the next couple of weeks” after pulling out of the tournament in Moscow, so she could still play in her father’s home country.
She has been seeded third at the tournament in Cluj behind her idol Simona Halep and Belgian star Elise Mertens.
Raducanu said: “I am extremely excited to play at the Transylvania Open, in front of Romanian fans.
“My father is from Romania, so to participate for the first time in a WTA competition in the country where he was born is a special moment and I can’t wait to get to Cluj.”
Upper Austria Ladies Linz, November 6-12 [WTA 250]
Raducanu is now focussing her attention on playing in Linz rather than attempting to reach the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, with the two events overlapping.
“I’ve heard many great things about Linz, how well they treat the players and how many great champions have won this title in the past. I am really looking forward to come to Austria and play in front of their great fans,” said Raducanu.
Tournament ambassador and TV presenter Barbara Schett has also spoken in glowing terms about the teenager from Bromley.
The former US Open quarter-finalist said: “I like the way she plays. With her triumph at the US Open she triggered a real hype in Great Britain. Emma has got the whole package. She is not only a top athlete, but also very intelligent and an enchanting personality.”
ATP Champions Tennis, London, November 25-28 [Exhibition]
Raducanu will mark her second appearance at the Royal Albert Hall in London since her US Open triumph having already joined Hollywood film stars at the new James Bond premiere for ‘No Time to Die’.
Raducanu, who will turn 19 on November 13, has been scheduled to play a singles exhibition match at the iconic venue.
She will be joined by tennis legends including British favourite Greg Rusedski, fan favourite Mansour Bahrami, Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, former No 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, Spaniard David Ferrer, 2006 Australian Open runner up Marcos Baghdatis, and Czech Radek Stepanek.
Other players competing in the tournament include Xavier Malisse, Australian legend Mark Philippoussis, 2010 Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych, former top-fiver Thomas Enqvist, former Russian No 1 Mikhail Youzhny, and German Tommy Haas.
Mubadala World Tennis Championship, Abu Dhabi, December 16-18 [Exhibition]
The teenager added the lucrative exhibition tournament to her busy schedule in the run-up to the Australian Open, which starts on January 17.
She will take on reigning Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic in a match which will take place at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City.
“I’ve never been to Abu Dhabi and can’t wait to go and play in the championship. I know the UAE is celebrating its 50th anniversary at the beginning of December, so I’m sure it’s going to be amazing there and I’m excited to experience everything the country has to offer both at the event and culturally,” said the Briton.
Legends of the women’s game including Serena, Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova have all competed at the prestigious event in recent years.
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