Raducanu Closing In On 2024 Australian Open Main Draw After Another Withdrawal

Raducanu Closing In On 2024 Australian Open Main Draw After Another Withdrawal

by Nurein Ahmed

Emma Raducanu might not need to go through the rigors of qualifying to play in the main draw of the 2024 Australian Open.

However, there is a caveat on how she'll enter next year's first Grand Slam tournament. Because Raducanu's rank dropped to a low of No. 296 upon release of the entry list, she needed either a main draw wild card or use her Special Ranking to avoid playing qualifying rounds.

Suffice to say neither of those two possibilities worked for her. A wild card has not been forthcoming, and at this moment, Raducanu's SR of World No. 103 is inadequate to garner her a main draw spot. It would have been sufficient on any other previous edition, but not next year.

It's not all doom and gloom for Raducanu, who is set to return at the ASB Classic in Auckland in January, as she'll now need four more withdrawals to qualify for the main draw in Melbourne. And truthfully, there is a chance we could see a surge in the number of players pulling out from the event.

The Czech duo of Karolina Muchova and Karolina Pliskova are battling wrist injuries, and the fitness of Bianca Andreescu is a huge question mark coming to 2024. All three of these players are qualified for the Australian Open, and whether they'll commit remains to be seen.

Raducanu has been out of action for at least eight months, having sustained wrist and ankle injuries. After undergoing three surgeries in May, the British tennis star returned to the practice courts in recent months and has been sedulous in building fitness for next season.

The 2024 Australian Open, set for a historic Sunday start on January 14, has witnessed a considerable number of entrants with a higher Special Ranking than Raducanu's, including former champions Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber.

The cut-off entry was lowered to 99, meaning Raducanu (with an SR of 103) needed six players ranked higher than her SR of 103 to pull out to qualify. The positive news for Raducanu is that the number has been truncated to four.

Irina Camilia Begua (qualified) has pulled out, meaning her place has gone to the first alternate, Aleksandra Krunic, who had an SR of 99. The batch of alternates has reduced to three with the news that Austria's Julia Grabher (World No. 102) won't make the trip to Melbourne, giving the 21-year-old Briton a glimmer of hope.


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