Miami Open president James Blake insists Emma Raducano continues to “improve” and that she “continues to make great progress” after being awarded a wildcard to the prestigious WTA 1000 tournament.
Raducanu, 20, got a welcome boost with a wildcard entry into the main draw in Miami for one of the highlights of the calendar outside of Grand Slams. She is currently ranked world No. 80 and was just five places away from a guaranteed place in the tournament.
But the 2021 US Open champion is now not required to compete in the qualifying stages and will make her second appearance in Miami later this month. Her withdrawal from last week’s ATX Open in Austin due to tonsillitis was just the latest setback in a grueling 17 months since her memorable victory at Flushing Meadows.
Raducanu has only played in two events this year after retiring from the ASB Classic in Auckland due to an ankle injury. She crashed in the early stages of the Australian Open, albeit offering encouraging resistance to more accomplished American Coco Gauff in a three-set defeat.
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Britain’s top seed has made it a priority to stay fit and play consistently at the highest level, after a series of injury setbacks disrupted her first full season on the WTA tour last year.
She will be desperate to make the most of her direct entry into the main draw in Miami, with a chance to start once again climbing the rankings.
But before that, she is expected to return to Indian Wells, California, for the first leg of what is known as the “Sunshine Double,” before the Miami Open kicks off on March 19.
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