Emma Raducanu makes one expected move ahead of Australian Open



by DZEVAD MESIC

Emma Raducanu makes one expected move ahead of Australian Open
© Getty Images Sport - Dave Rowland

Emma Raducanu is set to get some additional preparation ahead of the Australian Open as the Briton has signed up to compete at the Kooyong Classic, which is taking place between January 10-12.

During her comeback tournament in Auckland this week, Raducanu learned that there would be no need for her to play in the Australian Open qualifying next week. That automatically left the door open for Raducanu to play a match or two in Kooyong. 

The Kooyong Classic, a very popular Melbourne spot for players who want to get a bit more action the week before the Australian Open, returned last year after not being held between 2020-2022 due to the pandemic. Since its inaugural edition in 1989, the Kooyong Stadium has hosted some of the greatest names in tennis history, including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic

When Raducanu takes to the Kooyong Stadium next week, the 21-year-old Briton will be making her debut at the Australian exhibition tournament.

Raducanu is the second confirmed WTA player for Kooyong as the organizers previously announced rising Czech star Mirra Andreeva for the tournament.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Hannah Peters
 

Raducanu to play in Kooyong after making her return in Auckland

After missing the last eight months of the 2023 season due to multiple surgeries, Raducanu officially returned to the Tour this week in Auckland. In her first tournament back, Raducanu didn't make a deep run but she certainly made a promising start to her comeback.

In her first match back, Raducanu won a thriller after edging out Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-3 4-6 7-5. After starting her comeback with a win, Raducanu was inches away from upsetting 2023 Wimbledon semifinalist Elina Svitolina in her second match back. Raducanu, who was up by a set and had a 3-1 lead in the second-set tie-break, saw her level and intensity suddenly drop as Svitolina went on to complete a 6-7 (5) 7-6 (3) 6-1 win. 

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Dave Rowland
 

Afterward in her press conference, Raducanu sounded pretty excited and happy about how her first tournament back went. 

"It’s pretty exciting for me. To be back up to this speed after so little time is a great sign. I’m looking forward to the season. It’s just the beginning, it’s week one of a lot more to come," Raducanu said after her Auckland exit.

Emma Raducanu Australian Open