Emma Raducanu’s slump in the WTA Rankings means she has failed to make the cut for an initial direct entry into the Indian Wells Open, but all is not lost as she could still make the main draw.
The entry list for the 2023 WTA 1000 event in California features 76 players with world No 1 and defending champion Iga Swiatek headlining the field along with Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka, Ons Jabeur, Jessica Pegula, Caroline Garcia and Coco Gauff.
World No 75 Anna Bondar is currently the lowest-ranked player in the draw as the initial list also includes those who have opted to use their protected ranking to enter while injured or absent players like Naomi Osaka (who is on maternity leave) have been left out.
Raducanu currently sits at No 80 in the world so missed out after failing to boost her rankings during her first two events of the year as she retired from her second-round match at the ASB Classic due to injury before losing at the same stage at the Australian Open.
But all is not lost for Raducanu as she is fourth on the alternate list in the women’s draw while she could also receive a wildcard entry from organisers.
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With fitness doubts over the likes of Jabeur – who has undergone minor surgery and was forced to withdraw from the Doha and Dubai events – she may well get bumped up while her other option would be to go through qualifying.
2021 US Open winner Raducanu, who struggled with an ankle injury in the build-up to the Australian Open, is set to return to action at the inaugural ATX Open in Texas on February 27.
The Indian Wells entry list features nine Grand Slam winners and Swiatek will be looking to become the first woman to win back-to-back titles in California since Martina Navratilova achieved the feat in 1991.
However, it is a strong field with Elena Rybakina, who beat Swiatek at the Australian Open, set to be seeded 10th while world No 4 Pegula and world No 6 Gauff will look to become the first American to win the title since Serena Williams’ success in 2001.
With Osaka out of action and Simona Halep still fighting to clear her name following a failed drugs test last year, Victoria Azarenka (2), Bianca Andreescu and Paula Badosa are the only other players in the field to have won the title.
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