Emma Raducanu gets kind Miami Open draw as Simona Halep lands blockbuster

Kevin Palmer
Emma Raducanu leaves the court
Emma Raducanu from Great Britain after her tennis match

The draw for the second half of the ‘Sunshine Double’ in Miami has been made for WTA Tour players and 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu has been handed a big chance to make progress.

Raducanu is set for a big fall in her WTA ranking and will head to Miami down in 288th position on the updated WTA list, but there is a real chance for the 2021 US Open champion to make a rapid leap in the next few weeks.

With very few points to defend for the rest of 2024, the 21-year-old will move forward rapidly if she can pick up wins in the high-profile tournaments she is entering despite her lowly ranking.

The challenge is she could face some of the biggest names in the game as she is unseeded, but the draw has been kind to Raducanu as she plays the Miami Open on a wildcard invitation.

Raducanu will take on world No 52 Wang Xiyu and will then have a potential second round clash against world No 35 Anna Kalinskaya.

Russian star Kalinskaya confirmed she is in good form by reaching the final of the WTA 1000 event in Dubai last month, losing to Jasmine Paolini in the championship match after coming through qualifying in that tournament.

Kalinskaya also reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open and would represent a huge hurdle for Raducanu, who could face world No 10 Jelena Ostapenko in the third round.

READ MORE: Emma Raducanu handed a glorious chance to seal huge rankings boost

While those matches would all be tough for Raducanu, she has avoided the game’s biggest hitters after going out of the Indian Wells event in the third round after an encouraging performance against world No 2 Aryna Sabalekna.

All eyes will be on Simona Halep as she makes her return to the WTA Tour for the first time since her doping ban was reduced and she will face an eye-catching opening match against Spain’s Paulo Badosa.

If Halep comes through that match, the former world No 1 will be in line for a mouth-watering clash against world No 2 Aryna Sabalenka.

After her concinvicing win at in the Indian Wells final against Maria Sakkari on Sunday, world No 1 Iga Swiatek will be eager to complete the ‘Sunshine Double’, as she did back in 2022.

Swiatek has a bye in the first round and could face Italy’s Camila Giorgi in her first match in Miami.

No 3 seed Coco Gauff will face either fellow American Ashlyn Krueger or a qualifier in the second round and Indian Wells semi-finalist Marta Kostyuk could lie in wait for the reigning US Open champion in the third round.

Elena Rybakina is hoping to return to action after she was forced to pull out of the Indian Wells tournament due to ill health and she will face either Caroline Dolehide or a qualifier in her opening match.

The total financial commitment at Miami is $8,770,480.

Champion: $1,100,000/1,000 points
Finalist: $585,000/650 points
Semifinalist: $325,000/390 points
Quarterfinalist: $185,000/215 points
Fourth Round: $101,000/120 points
Third Round: $59,100/65 points
Second Round: $34,500/35 points
First Round: $23,250/10 points