By Eleanor Crooks, PA Tennis Correspondent
US Open champion Emma Raducanu will make her return to the tennis tour at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells next week.
The 18-year-old had been mulling over where to make her first appearance since her stunning New York victory and news came on Tuesday evening that she has been given a wild card into the prestigious event.
The California tournament, which begins next Wednesday and is one of the biggest on the WTA Tour, is normally held in March but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) September 28, 2021
Although her ranking of 22 is comfortably high enough to secure Raducanu entry into all the biggest events, the cut-off is several weeks before the start of each tournament, meaning the teenager needed a wild card to avoid having to go through qualifying.
Raducanu will be one of the star attractions in the Californian desert and there is bound to be huge focus on how she fares after sweeping all before her at Flushing Meadows.
The Kent player said last week she would not chase qualification for the end-of-season WTA Finals but she has also entered the Kremlin Cup in Moscow and the Transylvania Open in Romania later in October.
Raducanu, who attended the premiere of the James Bond film No Time To Die on Tuesday, currently sits 14th in the race to reach the event in Guadalajara, needing to make up nearly 400 points to make it into the top eight.