US Open winner Emma Raducanu will soon get her 2022 season underway.
The 19-year-old had a sensational end to 2021, starting the year ranked 343rd but ending it inside the world’s top 20.
Her meteoric rise was the result of an improbable victory at the US Open in September. Raducanu became the first ever qualifier, male or female, to win a Grand Slam.
It was also the first time a female British tennis player had won a major since Virginia Wade in 1977.
At world number 19, Raducanu is poised to break into the world top 10 this year. Although another Grand Slam title in 2022 is unlikely, she will be aiming to get experience on the WTA Tour under her belt.
When will Emma Raducanu play her first match of 2022?
Raducanu was forced to pull out of this week’s Melbourne Summer Set. She revealed the event was “too soon”, having spent a period of time in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.
Instead, Raducanu will start her season at Sydney Tennis Classic, a WTA 500 event held at the Australian city’s Olympic Park Tennis Centre.
With the draw set to take place on Saturday, the time of Raducanu’s first match and her opponent is not yet known.
But she is likely to play on Monday 10th, the first day of the tournament.
Raducanu will be the 15th seed in a field which includes world number one Ashleigh Barty, WTA Finals winner Garbiñe Muguruza and Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic.
The British star could also face another encounter against Leylah Fernandez, who she defeated in the final of the US Open in September.
Is Emma Raducanu playing in the Australian Open?
Raducanu will be playing at the Australian Open, scheduled for January 17th to 30th at Melbourne Park.
It will be the first time she is entered into a main draw of a Grand Slam, meaning she will not have to play any qualifying matches.
The draw for the tournament has not been held yet, so Raducanu’s first opponent is unknown.
The field is stacked with talent, including Barty, defending champion Naomi Osaka, and world number two Aryna Sabalenka.
Osaka is the only one of last year’s semi-finalists to enter the 2022 draw – Serena Williams, Jennifer Brady and Karolína Muchová have all withdrawn with injury