Emma Raducanu set for favorable 1R matchup in Indian Wells, then Aryna Sabalenka?

Raducanu learns her draw in Indian Wells.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Emma Raducanu set for favorable 1R matchup in Indian Wells, then Aryna Sabalenka?
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Emma Raducanu should have a pretty favorable first-round matchup in Indian Wells as the 21-year-old Briton is scheduled to start against a qualifier. 

Late last week, a Raducanu wildcard for Indian Wells was confirmed. When the news was confirmed, Raducanu was already in Indian Wells and preparing for the Sunshine Double. 

On Monday, the tournament main draw was released and Raducanu - now ranked at No. 250 in the world - landed in the bottom half of the draw. Also, Raducanu learned that she would be taking on a qualifier in her Indian Wells opener. 

On Tuesday, the Indian Wells qualifying final round will be completed as 12 qualifiers will be placed in the main draw. That's when Raducanu will get to know which qualifier exactly will be her opponent. 

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney
 

Raducanu could potentially face Aryna Sabalenka in the Indian Wells third round

If Raducanu makes it past a qualifier in her Indian Wells opener, next up for her would be 2024 Australian Open semifinalist Dayana Yastremska, who is seeded at No. 30 in Indian Wells and has a first-round bye. 

In case Raducanu makes the Indian Wells third round, she will then very likely have her first meeting against world No. 2 Sabalenka. Sabalenka, seeded at No. 2 in the Indian Wells main draw, should progress into the third round safely as she has a first-round bye before taking on either Peyton Sterns or Elisabetta Cocciaretto. 

Last year, Raducanu enjoyed her career-best Indian Wells run as a wildcard after beating Danka Kovinic, Magda Linette and Beatriz Haddad Maia. Then, Raducanu's Indian Wells run ended in the round-of-16 following a loss to world No. 1 Iga Swiatek. 

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney
 

This year, Raducanu will have a good chance to start with a win, and even though Yastremska made the Australian Open semifinal, the 2021 US Open champion would certainly have a shot at beating the Ukrainian. 

Reaching the Indian Wells third round and testing herself against Sabalenka would certainly be big for Raducanu, especially if the 21-year-old managed to come out of his draw and make a really deep run in the desert. 

Emma Raducanu Indian Wells Aryna Sabalenka
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