Everybody wants to watch Emma Raducanu. In the space of just a few months she has gone from relative unknown to one of Britain’s most beloved sports stars and now, with the British public right behind her, the number of people following her career with intrigue has skyrocketed.
This week she is back in action for the first time since her US Open triumph as she plays in the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and will be targeting more success. She is on a collision course to take on one of her tennis inspirations, former world number one Simona Halep in round three, but first she must get past a second-round underdog on Friday or Saturday.
Raducanu knows herself just how dangerous a low-ranking player can be and faces a second round encounter with either world No 71 Maria Camila Osorio from Colombia or Aliaksandra Sasnovich, the Belarusian world No 100.
Due to her phenomenal performances at both Wimbledon and the US Open, 18-year-old Raducanu is now ranked 22nd in the world, so is seeded for the first time. That means she does not have to play in the first round and instead goes straight into the second where she will play on Friday or Saturday.
Win that and her third round clash with likely opponent Halep will take place on Sunday or Monday. Looking further ahead, the semi-final will take place on Friday 15th and the final on the 17th as Raducanu looks to continue her winning ways, even if she hasn’t officially announced who her new coach will be.
After such a breakthrough year, Raducanu will be targeting a strong end to the season, before the Australian Open rolls back around at the end of January. The WTA Finals is the event she is aiming to qualify for over the next few weeks as she aims to pick up enough points to make it into the top eight that qualify.
However, she has been helped by the fact the tournament has been moved from its original destination of China to Guadalajara in Mexico. Ashleigh Barty, world number one, doesn’t look like leaving Australia anytime soon while Naomi Osaka's break from the sport looks set to continue.
That means one title and few strong performances over the next month or so could see her stratospheric rise continue. This is why this tournament in California is vital to Raducanu and following its conclusion, she will fly to Moscow for the Kremlin Cup which starts on the 18th October. That event has 500 rankings points up for grabs for the winner, and then she plans to visit her father’s homeland and Cluj for the Transylvania Open one week later.
With a huge amount of points on offer, Raducanu’s season could end with a flourish. It all starts this week, and if she makes it to Mexico in December, it will mark a quite sensational six months of tennis.