Emma Raducanu will return to the court for the first time since her historic US Open victory last month, as she heads to Indian Wells where a match against her idol Simona Halep could well be on the cards.
Following her remarkable victory in New York the 18-year-old made a huge climb in the world rankings, after moving from 150th before the Grand Slam to 22nd ahead of this week’s event.
The youngster’s career best ranking means she is among the 32 seeds at the BNP Paribas Open, giving her a bye through the first round of the tournament in California.
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As a result, Raducanu will now face either world No 71 Maria Camila Osorio of Colombia or Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich who sits 100th in the rankings in her opening match of the event, which will take place either this Friday or Saturday.
If the US Open champion is to win her second round clash, she could well set up a mouthwatering third round match against her Tennis idol, and former world No 1 Simona Halep.
The British star and Halep have plenty in common, no more so than their nationalities as Radacanu’s father comes from Romania, the nation in which the 30-year-old two-time Grand Slam champion also descends from.
The 18-year-old has often stated that she has looked up to Halep – who defeated Serena Williams in the 2019 Wimbledon final – admiring her growing up, and modelling her game on the Romanian’s and more specifically the world No 17’s athleticism.
However it seems the feeling is mutual both ways, as Halep was quick to comment on Raducanu’s quite magnificent Grand Slam win last month by describing her performance as ‘extraordinary’ on Twitter.
The Romanian star was not the only big name from the Tennis world to take to Twitter following the 18-year-old’s victory in New York, as Judy Murray – mother of former world No 1 Andy Murray – shared a remarkable picture of a young Raducanu alongside her hero Halep.
Murray tweeted: “We should never underestimate the importance of female role models in sport and creating opportunities for young athletes to get close to them. Emma Raducanu’s dad is Romanian and here she is with Simona Halep.”
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