After a breakthrough year in which she reached the fourth round at Wimbledon and won the US Open, Emma Raducanu will finish 2021 by appearing in two exhibition tournaments: the Champions of Tennis tournament at the Royal Albert Hall in London and the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, where Andy Murray is also appearing, in Abu Dhabi next month.
Although these semi-competitive events will offer little in the way of preparation for next year’s full season on the WTA Tour, they do present an opportunity to keep the Raducanu bandwagon on the road.
Who is Emma Raducanu’s next opponent?
The world No 19 will play Elena-Gabriela Ruse, a Romanian ranked No 85. The 24-year-old right-hander has never been past the first round at a grand slam tournament but did win her first ranking title this year, at the Hamburg Open in July. She also reached the final in Palermo this summer. Ruse and Raducanu were practice partners at the Transylvania Open in October.
What is the tournament?
The British No 1 will play Ruse as part of the Champions of Tennis exhibition event. Officially this is part of the ATP Champions Tour, a series of tournaments designed primarily to offer fans a chance to see former professionals and popular current players in action.
When is it?
The tournament runs from November 25 to 28. Raducanu’s match is on Sunday, the final day. She is due on court no earlier than 1pm. Play will finish no later than 5pm.
Who else is competing at the Albert Hall?
Raducanu and Ruse will be joined by former British No 1 Greg Rusedski, trick-shot specialist Mansour Bahrami, former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanišević, former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, Spain’s David Ferrer, 2006 Australian Open runner up Marcos Baghdatis, and former doubles number four player Radek Štěpánek.
Other players competing in the tournament include Xavier Malisse, Mark Philippoussis, Tomáš Berdych, Thomas Enqvist, Mikhail Youzhny and Tommy Haas.
How can I watch the Champions Of Tennis tournament on TV?
The event is not broadcast on a normal TV channel but full coverage is available for free on the tournament’s Facebook page and on the event’s official website.
What is the Mubadala World Tennis Championship?
This is a three-day exhibition event, after which many players will travel directly to Australia in order to start their preparations for the Australian Open in January. Competition starts on December 16 and finishes on December 18. As well as Andy Murray the men’s players competing include US Open champion Dominic Thiem and 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal.
Raducanu faces Olympic champion Belinda Bencic on the opening day. Murray is also in action on day one, against Thiem.
“I’m looking forward to returning,” said Murray, who has twice won the tournament. “With Emma also playing on day one, we will be flying the flag for British tennis and looking to put on a strong display.”