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Watch: Emma Raducanu has her first practice session in Indian Wells

Emma Raducanu at the 2021 US Open
Emma Raducanu at the 2021 US Open
Gauri Awasthi
ANALYST

Emma Raducanu returns to action at Indian Wells next week, in what will be her first competitive appearance since winning the US Open last month. The Indian Wells event is also back after a hiatus, having been canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then rescheduled from its usual March slot earlier this year.

The BNP Paribas Open, slated to begin on 6 October, is the last 1000 event on the WTA calendar this year. Emma Raducanu will be a seeded player at the tournament for the first time in her career, with her ranking having skyrocketed to No. 22 post her triumph in New York.

The Brit, however, secured a place in the main draw only by virtue of a last-minute wildcard. Her ranking of No. 150 was lower than the cutoff when the tournament released its entry list - which was before the start of the US Open.

Interestingly, this will be just the third career tour event for Emma Raducanu. The 18-year-old is yet to win a match on the WTA tour (not counting Major tournaments).

The official handle of the BNP Paribas Open recently posted a 33-second video of Raducanu's practice session at Indian Wells. In the video, the Brit is seen engaging in a long rally replete with some clean ball-striking.

The picturesque background of the Colorado desert provides an ideal setting for Raducanu's tennis outing.

Look at what we have here πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§Welcome to #TennisParadise, @EmmaRaducanu 🌴 https://t.co/qO1UzVds0X

The teenager also posted a picture of herself from one of her practice sessions on Instagram.

"Hey from the desert!," she captioned the post.

Although the BNP Paribas Open is a big tournament, a slew of high-profile players have decided to skip the 2021 edition. World No. 1s Novak Djokovic and Ashleigh Barty have both announced their withdrawal, in addition to former champions Naomi Osaka and Dominic Thiem.

Karolina Pliskova and Daniil Medvedev will be the respective top seeds at Indian Wells this year.

What does the rest of the season look like for Emma Raducanu?

Emma Raducanu with Kate Middleton at 'The Homecoming' event
Emma Raducanu with Kate Middleton at 'The Homecoming' event

Emma Raducanu will be hoping for a deep run in Indian Wells and bag her first set of WTA main-draw wins. She also recently confirmed her participation at the Kremlin Cup, which is scheduled to begin on 18 October in Moscow, Russia.

Much to the delight of her Romanian fans, the 18-year-old is also slated to play in the inaugural Transylvania Open, which will take place from 25 October in Cluj, Romania. Raducanu has paternal roots in Bucharest, and can be expected to receive a substantial amount of support on Romanian soil.

The teenager has an outside chance of qualifying for the season-ending WTA Finals, and she will be eager to register some strong results over the next few weeks and get there.


Edited by Musab Abid

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