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Emma Raducanu cops massive setback in bid to play at Australian Open

The former US Open champ has put her name forward for the Australian Open but as it stands will need to qualify to earn her place.

Pictured Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu has formally entered the Australian Open in January, but as it stands does not have a spot in the main draw. Image: Getty

Emma Raducanu has put her name forward for the Australian Open in January but is far from certain to gain a spot in the tournament. The former US Open champ has not competed since April after missing most of the year to undergo surgery on her wrists and left ankle.

Due to her time off the court, Raducanu is entitled to a protected ranking of 103 for tournament entry purposes, which is well above her current ranking of 296. But it still isn't enough to guarantee her a place at Melbourne Park as she currently sits eight places outside the cut-off and missed out on the first round of wildcards.

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The English tennis star failed to pick up one of the seven wildcards given out on Wednesday, with Caroline Wozniacki and six Aussies earning their spot in the tournament. Wozniacki came out of retirement last summer following a three-and-a-half-year hiatus, during which she had two children. The other wildcard recipients for the year's first Grand Slam event were Australians Kimberly Birrell, Olivia Gadecki, Taylah Preston, James Duckworth, Marc Polmans and Adam Walton.

To get a guaranteed spot at the Australian Open, Raducanu must now rely on players dropping out. The other possibility is for the 21-year-old to be granted a wildcard spot at a later date or to go through qualifying to earn a place in the main draw at Melbourne Park.

The 21-year-old will return to action at the ASB Classic in Auckland, where she played last year. Raducanu had to pull out of an exhibition event in Macau last weekend saying it was too early for her comeback from injury.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 20: Emma Raducanu of Great Britain looks at her injured hand against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro during day four of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)
The former US Open champ has not competed since April after undergoing surgery on her troublesome wrists and left ankle. Image: Getty (Frey/TPN via Getty Images)

Nick Kyrgios expected to miss Australian Open

Nick Kyrgios was not on the official entry list for the Brisbane International when it was announced on Wednesday, with the decision raising fresh concerns that he will not be fit for the Australian Open. Organisers were optimistic that Kyrgios would make his return at the Brisbane tournament, but it now appears extremely unlikely that he'll be in action at Melbourne Park come January.

The Aussie star has only competed at one ATP-level match in 2023 amid persistent issues with his knee and wrist. Kyrgios previously admitted the stars would need to align for him to be a chance at playing the Australian Open.

But despite his absence from the official entry list, Brisbane International tournament director Cam Pearson holds out hope that Kyrgios may be a late addition and says he will be granted a late wildcard if he decides he is right to play. "Nick is a day-by-day proposition at the moment. I think he said that himself,” Pearson said on Wednesday. "Hopefully he'll share his January plans very soon.

"We've got a couple of wildcards left and selectors have a big decision. Several Aussies are vying for those two wildcards. If Nick is fit, he will certainly be one of them. He’s coming back from some serious surgery and has to do what’s right for his preparation."

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