Naomi Osaka Upbeat Despite Brisbane Loss as Emma Raducanu Earns Main Draw Spot ahead of Australian Open

Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu (pictured) make inspired returns to the Australian Open following hiatus due to pregnancy and injury respectively, both featuring in the main draw of the first Grand Slam of the year. Photo: Emma Raducanu on X

The first Grand Slam of the year 2024 is upon us, the Australian Open and the draw has been confirmed with Iga Swiatek headlining the women’s fields at Melbourne Park. Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka will aim to defend her singles title. 

Some notable names are set to take to the field such as former champions Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber. Both Osaka and Kerber return after giving birth. 

Four-time grand slam champion Osaka gave birth to her daughter Shai in July 2023. She has some wonderful memories having won two of her titles in Australia in 2019 and 2021. 

After the former world No. 1 spent 15 months out due to pregnancy, she made a comeback at the Brisbane International where she won her first match back before putting in an admirable display in a three-set loss to Karolina Pliskova. 

She needed just an hour and 48 minutes to beat Tamara Korpatsch 6-3 7-6(11) in the first round then faced a tricky opponent in fellow former No. 1 Pliskova.

Speaking after the loss, Osaka is confident and raring to go in Melbourne: “I think for me even stepping on the court is a personal win because a couple of weeks ago, I was even doubting if I could play with everyone. 

“So I guess these two matches that I’ve had kind of prove to me that I am doing okay, and the year is just going to get better for me.”

Kerber on the other hand gave birth to daughter Liana in February 2023 and hasn’t played since Wimbledon 2022. She won her sole Australian title in 2016. 

British prodigy Emma Raducanu has benefitted from a number of late withdrawals and has earned direct entry into the main draw. 2023 US Open finalist will take the place of Lauren Davis after the American withdrew due to a shoulder injury.

Raducanu is 301st in the world, but was able to enter with a special ranking of 103 – her position before missing a minimum of six months through injury.

The former US Open champion returned to the tour in Auckland at the ASB Classic this week with a win over Romania’s Elena Gabriela Ruse. It was her first match since having minor operations on both hands and her left ankle in early May 2023.

Her second-round match in Auckland, against the second seed Elina Svitolina, is scheduled to begin at 07:30 CAT on Thursday.

Poland’s Swiatek leads the women’s field after regaining the world number one ranking from Sabalenka at the end of last year.

Sabalenka is seeded second in front of American Coco Gauff, who won the US Open in September, and 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.

When is the Australian Open draw?

The Australian Open singles draw will take place on Thursday, 11 January, and seedings are used to separate the top players and ensure they do not meet in the early rounds at a Grand Slam.

They are based on a player’s world ranking, which is determined by the points players pick up at tournaments.

When does the Australian Open start?

Australian Open 2024 will commence on Sunday, January 14 and become a 15-day event for the first time. The women’s singles final of the Australian Open 2024 will be played on Saturday (January 27). 

It is the first time the Australian Open will start on a Sunday instead of the usual Monday, with the tournament extended to 15 days as organisers hope to avoid late-night finishes.


Photo Caption: Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu (pictured) make inspired returns to the Australian Open following hiatus due to pregnancy and injury respectively, both featuring in the main draw of the first Grand Slam of the year. Photo: Emma Raducanu on X

Please Rate this Post

0 ratings, 0 votes0 ratings, 0 votes (0 rating, 0 votes, rated)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

Recent Posts

Categories

Follow Us