Another Withdrawal Pushes Raducanu Closer To Australian Open Main Draw

Another Withdrawal Pushes Raducanu Closer To Australian Open Main Draw

by Nurein Ahmed

Emma Raducanu is inching ever closer to having her name in the Australian Open main draw without the need to play qualifying.

Raducanu, currently ranked outside the world's Top 200, is slated to play the Australian Open qualifying rounds because her Special Ranking (World No. 103) is not high enough to warrant an automatic main draw berth.

A Special Ranking (SR) is a provision that the WTA Tour gives to injured players or those on maternity leave (subject to application and approval) who are out of action for not less than six months to use the actual ranking of the last tournament in which they played or receive prize money.

Raducnau's SR of 103 would have qualified her for the year's first Grand Slam. However, the cut-off entry at the 2024 Australian Open has been lowered due to a stack of Special Ranking entrants with double-digit rankings (higher than Raducanu's).

Therefore, the British tennis sensation will need to play in qualifying unless there are significant withdrawals in the main draw.

And that appears to be the case with American player Caty McNally confirming her absence from the Australian Open, having initially signed up to play the tournament with an SR.

McNally's place has now been taken by Kamilla Rakhimova, giving Raducanu a major boost because she would require three more withdrawals to enter the 128-woman field directly. It looks increasingly likely that she may not need to play the qualifying rounds.

Several higher-ranked WTA players have reported injury concerns ahead of the new season. The Czech trio of Karolina Muchova, Petra Kvitova, and Karolina Pliskova have major doubts about playing at the Australian Open.

Big-hitting American Madison Keys has withdrawn from her first tournament of the season in Brisbane, casting doubt about her participation in the Australian Open.

So there is hope for the former US Open champion, who is gearing up to make her comeback from injury at the ASB Classic in Auckland on New Year's Day.


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