Why Emma Raducanu opted not to play Melbourne charity match and Kooyong revealed

Raducanu was scheduled to take part in two matches this week.

by Dzevad Mesic
Why Emma Raducanu opted not to play Melbourne charity match and Kooyong revealed
© Getty Images Sport - Hannah Peters

Emma Raducanu pulled out of a Melbourne charity match due to "waking up a little sore" while Naomi Osaka decided not to play the match due to precautionary reasons. Last week, it was announced that 2021 US Open champion Raducanu and four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka would meet in a charity match at Melbourne Park on Tuesday. 

On the day of the match, the organizers announced that former world No. 1 Osaka was withdrawing from the match. Following the Osaka withdrawal, the tournament organizers also named Croatia's Donna Vekic as the replacement and Raducanu's opponent. 

But then, 21-year-old Raducanu also alerted the organizers that she was pulling out from the match. According to British media, Raducanu had an intense two-hour practice session on Monday, which left her with certain soreness on Monday morning. Not wanting to risk anything ahead of the Australian Open, Raducanu withdrew from her scheduled charity match due to precautionary reasons. 

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Hannah Peters

Raducanu also out of the Kooyong Classic

After concluding her Auckland campaign, Raducanu signed up for this week's Kooyong Classic. But after withdrawing from her charity match against Osaka, Raducanu also pulled out of the Kooyong Classic. According to British media, Raducanu withdrew from Kooyong for the pretty much same reasons she opted not to play against Osaka. 

In Kooyong, Raducanu was scheduled to take on Paula Badosa on Thursday. By withdrawing from the match, it means that the 21-year-old Briton won't be making her Kooyong Classic debut this year. 

Now, Raducanu's next match is set to come at the Australian Open.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Daniel Pockett

The Abu Dhabi Open organizers 'delighted' to welcome Raducanu

This week, the Abu Dhabi Open organizers released its entry list and Raducanu is set to debut at the tournament in early February after being given a main draw wildcard. Addressing Raducanu's upcoming debut at a WTA 500 event in Abu Dhabi, the tournament organizers sounded ecstatic about welcoming the 2021 US Open champion to their event.

“We are delighted to announce such a strong draw for this year’s event, and with 10 of the world’s top 20 players competing, it promises to be a truly special tournament. With fantastic talents such as Ons Jabeur, Beatriz Haddad Maia and Emma Raducanu confirmed, there was already a huge sense of excitement ahead of the event," Abu Dhabi tournament director Nigel Gupta said in a statement.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Hannah Peters

While Raducanu is set to debut at the Abu Dhabi Open, she has already played in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. In 2022 December, Raducanu took on Ons Jabeur in an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi. Back then, Raducanu was beaten by three-time Grand Slam finalist Jabeur in Abu Dhabi.

Raducanu confirmed for Stuttgart as well

Meanwhile, Raducanu has also been confirmed for a WTA 500 tournament in Stuttgart, which is taking place in April. When the Stuttgart event kicks off on April 15th, 21-year-old Raducanu will be making her third appearance at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Previously, Raducanu made the Stuttgart quarterfinal in 2022 before losing in the first round last year. 

Since 2022, Raducanu has been a global ambassador for German carmaker Porsche. In Stuttgart, Porsche is the main sponsor. 

"Back to Stuttgart later this year," Raducanu captioned her Instagram Story.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Emma Raducanu - Instagram

Last year, Raducanu had a very rough outing in Stuttgart. In the 2022 Stuttgart first round, Raducanu suffered a brutal loss as Jelena Ostapenko thrashed the Briton 6-2 6-1. Two weeks later, Raducanu announced she was undergoing surgeries on both wrists and her right ankle. 

Raducanu is now healthy and there is no doubt that she will be aiming to have a much better campaign in Stuttgart this year.

Laura Robson happy about Raducanu

Robson, who won the silver medal with Andy Murray in the mixed doubles event at the 2012 London Olympics, had a chance to observe Raducanu from the close when the Briton was preparing to launch her post-surgery comeback. According to Robson, Raducanu was looking very good on the court and hitting the ball "so cleanly."

After undergoing three surgeries in May and not playing for eight months, Raducanu started her comeback in Auckland last week. In her first tournament back, Raducanu beat Elena-Gabriela Ruse in a very tight three-set match before losing to Elina Svitolina in three sets - in a match where she also delivered a great fight. Overall, Raducanu looked good in Auckland and it was a promising comeback. 

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Dave Rowland

At the start of her comeback and her upcoming Australian Open run, Raducanu made an interesting decision - she hired her childhood coach Nick Cavaday. Robson is a fan of Raducanu's decision as Cavaday is a person of trust for the 2021 US Open champion and his presence likely brings a certain type of comfort to the 21-year-old Briton. 

"I've seen her a little bit at the National Centre in London and she's been hitting the ball so cleanly. She's been working really hard in the gym and she has a coach that she's worked with in the past with her at the moment. I think if you have that comfort of knowing each other really well, knowing that you have that support from the side, which always makes a difference," Robson told Eurosport. 

In the same interview, Robson highlighted that for the first six months of Raducanu's comeback the most important thing for the Briton will be to play matches and stay healthy in the process. 

Emma Raducanu