Raducanu earns Indian Wells entry boost despite latest illness setback

Emma Raducanu has received a boost as the Brit gained direct entry into the upcoming Indian Wells WTA 1000 after originally failing to meet the ranking cut-off point and requiring a wildcard. It comes after the world No 80 suffered a fresh setback when she was forced to pull out of this week’s ATX Open after contracting tonsillitis.

Raducanu’s 2023 season hasn’t gone to plan so far with the 20-year-old being forced to pull out of this week’s WTA 250 in Texas after getting tonsillitis. It comes after she started the year by rolling her ankle in Auckland and retiring in tears with the injury hindering her preparations for the Australian Open, where she ultimately lost in the second round.

The British No 1 has not competed since after she withdrew from this week’s ATX Open and was set to play in Indian Wells as a wildcard but she has now gained direct entry into the main draw following the withdrawal of Ana Bogdan. It means that a wildcard is now free for another star while Raducanu can have the satisfaction of getting in the draw off her own back.

Having peaked at No 10 in the world less than a year ago, Raducanu’s ranking took a tumble when she was unable to defend her historic US Open title from 2021 and crashed out in the opening round in September. The top-ranked Brit has since shared her hopes to build her ranking back up and grind it out at the smaller events but has had her plans derailed by injury and illness so far this year.

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After withdrawing from this week’s inaugural event in Texas, the 20-year-old was expected to stay in America and travel to Indian Wells ahead of the first 1000-point tournament of the season. “I’m sorry to have to withdraw from the ATX Open,” Raducanu said when pulling out of this week’s tournament.

“I am currently suffering from tonsillitis and am unable to compete this week. Thank you to the tournament and the great hospitality here in Austin.” Raducanu’s management also reportedly said the Brit would be staying State-side for the Miami Open following Indian Wells, but she failed to gain direct entry into the main draw on the cut-off date of February 21.

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The current world No 80 was just five spots away from getting in so she could suffer the same fate as Indian Wells and still make it into the main draw following some withdrawals, otherwise she will be forced to rely on either a wildcard or battle it out in qualifying. And Raducanu has been adding to her schedule beyond the ‘sunshine double’, signing up to the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in April.

Raducanu enjoyed success at the indoor clay-court tournament last year, reaching the quarter-finals before going out to world No 1 and eventual-champion Iga Swiatek 6-4 6-4. “The Porsche Arena’s Centre Court is brilliant. I’m also looking forward to a drive or two in a Porsche sports car and experiencing more of the brand, like visiting the factory,” the 20-year-old said when announcing her participation.

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