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When is Emma Raducanu’s next match? British No 1 to spend Christmas in Middle East before Australian Open 2022


Emma Raducanu will sacrifice a family Christmas in order to prepare properly for the 2022 Australian Open.

The 19-year-old will be playing her first grand slam tournament since shocking the world by winning the US Open in New York.

Since that victory, Raducanu has enjoyed mixed success on the WTA Tour, winning just two out five matches, a fair reflection of how much she is still a relative novice despite her remarkable rise.

And she will now try to fill in the gaps between junior prodigy and grand slam title winner during a month-long pre-season training camp, much of which will be conducted in the Middle East.

Raducanu started her pre-season fitness training on Tuesday, featuring five-hour sessions and little sign of a tennis racket, as she attempts to add physical robustness to her armoury ahead of her first full season on tour.

Her commitment to the cause will even stretch to spending the festive season away from home, with training camp in Abu Dhabi to take priority over a pair of seven-hour flights back to the UK and the company of both her parents – although the teenager seems unfazed by the idea of being away from her family.

“I knew that playing tennis you’ll spend birthdays, you’ll spend Christmas and New Year not at home and I feel like for me it doesn’t matter,” Raducanu said after beating Elena-Gabriela Ruse in an exhibition match at the Royal Albert Hall.

“I’m there to train, I’m there to get better and then I fly to Australia. What’s going to be best for me is staying in the Middle East rather than flying seven hours back and forth.

Raducanu’s next match

  • Date: Thursday 16 December
  • Time: Not before 4pm UK time
  • Event: Mubadala World Tennis Championship
  • Venue: International Tennis Centre, Abu Dhabi

“So I feel like it’s not a sacrifice and hopefully my Mum or Dad can come out maybe, and one of my best friend lives in Dubai so I can just see her.”

Apart from the abundance of opportunity for warm-weather training ahead of a trip to Melbourne, where January temperatures are around 26 degrees Celsius on average but can go far higher, Raducanu will also play her first match of the new season in Abu Dhabi.

The US Open champion is set to take on Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, a three-day exhibition tournament in the Zayed Sports City facility where she will also be joined by the likes of Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal.

Raducanu will spend the off-season working on improving her fitness ahead of a first full WTA season (Photo: Reuters)

The tournament, which will also welcome Dominic Thiem, Andrey Rublev, Denis Shapovalov and Casper Ruud, features no other women, a testament to the impact Raducanu has had on the game.

The British No 1 will then spend another 10 days working with new coach Torben Beltz in the Middle East before flying to Melbourne on Monday 27 December.

Her schedule also means she will most probably not be in the UK for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, which she is favourite to win. As a lifelong F1 fan, she says she has not prepared a speech and will be hoping Lewis Hamilton wins the gong, preferably as an eight-time world champion.

“I’m rooting for Lewis in the race,” Raducanu added. “He’s been such a good role model for me in terms of helping me out and through these next stages. He’s a really cool person.”

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