Miami Open tournament director James Blake is happy to give Emma Raducanu a Miami Open wildcard as the Briton's story reminds him of the time when Maria Sharapova first arrived on the WTA Tour. “Raducanu is such an incredible story what she did at the US Open, taking the world by storm like we hadn’t seen since Maria Sharapova winning Wimbledon at such a young age and becoming a media phenomenon.
It's been a bit of a struggle since then, but realistically for her age, she’s getting better, and just happened to have one of her greatest performances at one of the biggest events on the calendar. She’s continuing to make progress.
We’re happy she’ll be in Miami. With the success she’s had on hard courts, hopefully she’ll feel comfortable here," Blake told The Miami Herald.
Blake compares 'incredible story' Raducanu to Sharapova
In 2004, a 17-year-old Sharapova took tennis by storm after winning Wimbledon.
By the time Sharapova became the world No 1 in August 2005, she was already one of the most popular and marketable tennis players. In 2021, an 18-year-old Raducanu made all the headlines after becoming the first-ever qualifier in tennis history to win a Grand Slam.
Shortly after her stunning US Open victory, Raducanu became the global ambassador of some of the world's biggest brands such as Dior, Tiffany & Co, Channel, etc. Even though Raducanu hasn't had much on-court success since her US Open victory, she is still one of the most popular players in the game.
This March, Raducanu will be making her second appearance at the Miami Open. Last year, Raducanu was a seeded player in Miami and she had a first-round bye at the tournament. After a first-round bye, Raducanu was edged out by Katerina Siniakova in a tight three-set second-round match.
This time, Raducanu won't be seeded and will have to start her campaign from the first round. It remains to be seen how well can Raducanu do in Miami this year.