Emma Raducanu confirms her first event of 2023 – ‘It is a great way to start off the Australian Open swing’

Emma Raducanu recovering from injury

Emma Raducanu is off to New Zealand at the start of the 2023 season as she has confirmed she will take part in the ASB Classic in Auckland.

The 2021 US Open champion will make her debut at the WTA 250 tournament with the event returning to the calendar after a two-year absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Raducanu will join an impressive line-up as world No 7 Coco Gauff, former US Open champion Sloane Stephens, and Leylah Fernandez – who Raducanu beat in the 2021 US Open final – will also feature in the main draw.

“I’m really looking forward to coming to New Zealand,” the British No 1 said.

“I’ve heard so many good things about the tournament. It is a great way to start off the Australian Open swing.

“I have heard that the tournament in New Zealand is great for players and fans. New Zealand is known for its beautiful landscape and nature, so I hope I can get to explore some of the other beautiful parts whilst in my time there.”

Raducanu will hope to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 season that saw her struggle with form and injury. Her US Open title defence was ended in the first round at Flushing Meadows in August, resulting in a slide down the WTA Rankings.

She also struggled with various niggles – including blisters, a back injury, a thigh injury and a wrist problem – and was forced to end her season early due to injury, resulting in her missing Great Britain’s run to the semi-finals of the Billie Jean King Cup in Glasgow last week.

The 20-year-old will start the new season at No 75 in the rankings and ASB Classic Tournament Director Nicolas Lamperin is delighted to have Raducanu in the field.

“Emma has a huge profile in world tennis and is a young player of immense ability,” he said.

“Clearly her US Open triumph and journey was spectacular and so we are thrilled that Emma has decided to play in Auckland as part of her preparation for the Australian Open.

“She has had to cope with so much attention from media, fans and commercial interests as well as continue to develop as a player. In UK that is a level of pressure that can be overwhelming.

“Emma is showing that she can cope with this celebrity and is now working hard on her game to prove that her US Open triumph was only an indication of her capabilities. I am sure fans will want to throng into the ASB Tennis Arena to see her in action. It is very exciting.”

READ MORE: Former British No 1 gives her verdict as Emma Raducanu’s injury woes continue