Emma Raducanu, Naomi Osaka to clash in charity match

Raducanu and Osaka set to meet on the court ahead of the Australian Open.

by Dzevad Mesic
Emma Raducanu, Naomi Osaka to clash in charity match
© Getty Images Sport - Dave Rowland

Emma Raducanu and Naomi Osaka are set to meet in a charity match in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open. 

Raducanu and Osaka, both Grand Slam champions, will play their charity match on Tuesday, January 9th, and the match will take place at Melbourne Park. When Raducanu, 21, and 26-year-old Osaka meet, it will be the first time they are going up against each other. 

Although it will be just an exhibition match, there is no doubt that Melbourne fans will absolutely love seeing a Raducanu and Osaka match leading up to the Australian Open. Also, the fact that Raducanu and Osaka are just returning following lengthy absences will draw even more interest to the match. 

Raducanu, Osaka enjoyed positive returns to tennis this week

This week, 2021 US Open champion Raducanu made her comeback in Auckland after not playing for eight months due to multiple surgeries she had undergone in May. In her first tournament back, Raducanu did pretty well although she didn't make a deep run. 

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Dave Rowland

In her very first match back, Raducanu survived a thriller as she made a triumphant return by beating Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-3 4-6 7-5. After edging out Ruse in a very tight contest, Raducanu's level looked even better against Elina Svitolina. Still, Raducanu lost that match as Svitolina came back to beat the 21-year-old with a 6-7 (5) 7-6 (3) 6-1 scoreline. 

At one point, Raducanu was very close to sending Svitolina packing out of Auckland as the Briton was up by a set and led 3-1 in the second-set tie-break. But then, Raducanu's level and intensity dropped in a big way as Svitolina went on to complete a comeback win. 

On the other side, Osaka kicked off her post-pregnancy return in Brisbane with a 6-3 7-6 (9) win over Tamara Korpatsch. After starting with a win, Osaka was also a set away from beating two-time Grand Slam finalist Karolina Pliskova in her second match back. Unfortunately for Osaka, she wasn't able to sustain the same level of play for the entire match as Pliskova recovered to win 3-6 7-6 (4) 6-4.

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka© Getty Images Sport - Bradley Kanaris

After their Auckland and Brisbane runs, both Raducanu and Osaka said they were pleased with how their first tournaments went.

Emma Raducanu Naomi Osaka Australian Open