RADUCANU RETURNS IN DOHA, LIVE ON SKY SPORTS TENNIS AT 11AM MONDAY

Emma Raducanu is back in action at the Qatar Open in Doha and you can watch her match against Anhelina Kalinina, live on the new Sky Sports Tennis channel from 11am on Monday.

The 2021 US Open champion has been showing positive signs having spent eight months out of action in 2023 after wrist and ankle surgeries.

The 21-year-old was hampered by a stomach bug during her loss at the Australian Open but her tennis was encouraging and she stepped up her comeback with victory over Marie Bouzkova in Abu Dhabi before being denied a spot in the quarter-finals by Ons Jabeur.

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She received a wildcard into the Qatar Open on Friday where she has been drawn to face world No 32 Anhelina Kalinina in a tough opening round match, with former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko awaiting the winner.

Speaking on Sky Sports Tennis as the new channel launched, Raducanu said: "It's been good for me to have a few matches under my belt now and in practice I'm really improving some specific areas technically. I think that is really helping me and now it's just about implementing it more and more in matches. I started relatively recently after surgery, so it's only been two months of me back on court.

"I played a really good match in the first round last week [against Bouzkova] so I'm looking to build throughout the season.

"Honestly, I feel really good physically in terms of niggles or anything. The one thing is I haven't had a lot of matches in a week back to back, but I've been pulling up completely fine so that's refreshing for me because a lot of the time in 2022 and 2023 I was hurt after one match.

"I've been feeling really good physically. I did a lot of gym work at the end of last year when I couldn't train but there have been no setbacks."

Raducanu, who has reunited with childhood coach Nick Cavaday, added: "My main goal is to stay healthy injury-wise, sickness-wise, also another goal is consistency. One thing I needed to do after Australia was that I knew I had areas to develop and obviously when you start working with a new coach they implement new things, so you want to give yourself time to do that, but on the tour there is no time.

"In recent months I made a few technical tweaks so I mean to try and change something technically it's difficult. You start with hand feeds, baskets, drilling, point play and then match play. I think I made some tweaks straight after Australia into Abu Dhabi and seeing them in the first-round match was a real positive for me. That's a week of practice and seeing it come through was encouraging."

Where could Raducanu play after Qatar?

The first two WTA 1000 tournaments of the season are in Doha from February 11 - when our dedicated Sky Sports Tennis channel launched - and Dubai on February 18.

Whether Raducanu plays Dubai will likely depend if she receives another wildcard, as her ranking is currently not high enough to get into the main draw.

She is ranked at No 296 in the world although she is set to rise to No 261 following her latest win. Not even her protected ranking (which is given to players who are out of action for an extended period) of No 103 is enough to get into the draw at most top tournaments.

But given the fact she is a former Grand Slam champion and draws in big crowds, there is a high possibility she will be offered wildcards into the main draw of many future tournaments.

After that, we could well see her at Indian Wells in early March.

The third WTA 1000 of the season is set in the California desert and is known as the unofficial fifth Grand Slam. It is one of the biggest tournaments on the calendar as it has a larger draw size of 128 singles players. The Miami Open which follows will also be an option for her.

Whether we will see Raducanu represent Great Britain in the Billie Jean King Cup or the Paris Olympics is not yet known. Great Britain play France again on April 12-13, but Raducanu may not feature.

The tie will be played on indoor clay, which is the same surface as the following week's tournament in Stuttgart, where Raducanu is likely to play as it is organised by Porsche, one of her sponsors.

Last year she lost in the first round while in 2022 she made the quarter-final.

Sky Sports Tennis launches on Sunday

Sky Sports has confirmed a new home for tennis in the UK and Ireland, with Sky Sports Tennis launching on Sky and NOW on Sunday, making tennis content available all day, every day for fans.

Sky Sports will broadcast more live tennis than anywhere else, bringing over 4,000 matches from more than 80 tournaments a year on the ATP and WTA Tours, as well as full coverage of the US Open, all exclusively live.

Non-Sky subscribers can stream live matches with a NOW Sports Day and Month Membership, via Sky Sports Tennis, Sky Sports Arena, and Sky Sports Mix channels.

For further access, fans will also be able to follow their favourite players and gain deeper insights from both Tours via Sky Sports News, the Sky Sports app, on SkySports.com and via Sky Sports social channels.

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