Emma Raducanu could secure a place in lucrative end-of-season WTA finals
She has only played four tournaments at WTA Tour level in 2021, but the newly-crowned US Open champion Emma Raducanu could be on course to secure a remarkable place in the lucrative end-of-season WTA finals in Mexico.
The 18-year-old Brit was ranked at 338 in the world when she was handed a wildcard into Wimbledon in June, with her run to the fourth round at the All England Club securing her a huge rankings rise.
That was followed by Raducanu’s remarkable run through the qualifiers at the US Open, before her historic run to the title that was secured without dropping a set.
She is now ranked at No.22 in the latest WTA standings but will get a chance to make another huge leap up the rankings when she played at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Masters next month.
Raducanu will make a jump into the top 20 of the WTA rankings if she wins a couple of rounds at Indian Wells, but there is now a real chance that she could season a place in the end-of-season tour finals.
The eight players that collect the most points in this calendar will play in the WTA finals, where Ashleigh Barty took home a huge $4.42 million cheque after she won the most recent edition of the competition in 2019.
Barty’s agent has now suggested the Wimbledon champion may not play at the lucrative 2021 event, which will be played Mexico after it was moved from Shenzhen in China due to Covid conditions.
If Barty was to leave again to compete at the WTA Finals in Mexico, she would then have to endure another two weeks on her return to her home country, before immediately starting preparations for the Australian Open in January and her agent has hinted she may not play.
Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Indian Wells to extend her break from tennis and as she is currently sitting in the seventh spot in the race to secure a spot in the WTA finals.
While Raducanu is currently sitting in 14th place in the WTA points table for 2021, a good run for the Brit at Indian Wells could give her a chance to edge into contention for a place in the WTA finals, especially if Barty and Osaka opt-out of the event.
It would be the perfect end to a stunning breakthrough year for Racucanu, who looks certain to collect awards aplenty in the coming weeks after her US Open triumph.
World number two Aryna Sabalenka and French Open winner Barbora Krejcikova have qualified for the WTA finals, with plenty of spots up for grabs in the Indian Wells event.
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