Former world No 5 makes Emma Raducanu ranking prediction and analyses her comeback

Ewan West
Emma Raducanu celebrates Australian Open
Emma Raducanu celebrates at the 2024 Australian Open

Former world No 5 Jo Durie believes Emma Raducanu will “definitely be in the top 100 on the WTA tour” by the summer ahead of the US Open hard-court swing.

Durie, who was the British No 1 for most of her career, emphasised the importance of Raducanu playing matches consistently given the time she has spent out injured.

Raducanu was beaten in three sets by Wang Yafan in the second round of the Australian Open on Thursday in just the second tournament of her comeback.

The 2021 US Open winner returned from an eight-month absence in Auckland earlier this month following surgeries on both her wrists and her ankle last year.

The 21-year-old also reached the second round in Auckland – where she produced an encouraging display in a three-set loss to eventual finalist Elina Svitolina

The Brit, who reached a career-high WTA ranking of 10th in July 2022, is currently ranked 296th in the world.

READ MORE: Emma Raducanu remains ‘very positive’ after ‘throwing up in mouth’ during Australian Open loss

Durie, a commentator for Eurosport, gave her verdict on Raducanu’s Australian Open campaign and her return to action so far.

“Emma just needs to play matches. We’ve seen that health-wise, her wrists and her ankles are okay,” Durie told MegaDice.com.

“It’s just a matter of getting out there consistently, training and playing and letting her body harden up to life on the tour because she’s been out for so long. She had a whole year out on the tour so she needs to get out there and do it.

“Bit by bit, she’ll get stronger. Her ranking will start going up the more she plays matches and I think she’ll start getting some wins under her belt.

“I think she’ll be feeling okay with her performance against Wang. Afterwards, she said that she admitted she had a stomach bug and said that she was fighting that so it’s not great but she had some moments in the game where she was playing pretty well.

“It was a tough match because of the wind swirling around which made it difficult for both players. She had chances but it wasn’t quite good enough in the end. Overall, she’ll think it’s been a good trip to Australia. She’s back on the tour, playing matches to a fairly high standard.”

The two-time major semi-finalist also highlighted the fact Raducanu can use her protected ranking at more events and backed her to climb back up the rankings by the summer.

“She’s got another seven tournaments where she can use her special ranking at 103. She’ll get wildcards, the grass court season won’t be a problem for her at all, she’ll get enough wildcards there,” Durie continued.

“She’ll be in enough tournaments and I hope by the summer, by the hard-courts leading up to the summer and the US Open, she’ll definitely be in the top 100 on the WTA tour and she won’t have to worry about wildcards anymore.

“She can just get on with playing these matches. She needs a lot of them, she’s hardly played any in the last year.”

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