Emma Raducanu will make her long-awaited return to tennis in Auckland next month… with British star trying to put injury hell behind her having not played since April

Emma Raducanu will make her return to top-line tennis at the dawn of the new year in Auckland.

The former US Open champion will play at the ASB Classic in New Zealand’s biggest city, alongside Coco Gauff and former Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki at what is a relatively lowly 250-level event on the main WTA Tour.

The Auckland event has a history of attracting decent names due to a sizeable appearance-fee budget, and has hosted Serena Williams in the recent past.

Raducanu is waiting to hear if she will be awarded a wildcard for the Australian Open main draw, which starts on January 14. 

She is six places away from making the main draw at present with her injury-protected entry ranking of 103 high above her official listing of 296. 

Emma Raducanu’s return to action has now been agreed as she looks to climb the rankings

Raducanu posted pictures after she underwent wrist surgery to combat her injury issues

Raducanu posted pictures after she underwent wrist surgery to combat her injury issues

If she were given one of the remaining privileged spots it would mean she avoided attempting to qualify in the second week of January for Melbourne and open up options to get more matches elsewhere. 

These would include the WTA tournaments in Adelaide or Hobart.

The Briton, 21, has been in Hong Kong in the past week but is expected to continue her preparations at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton. She has not played since April in Stuttgart, after which she had minor surgery on both wrists and her ankle.

Her situation in making the field in Melbourne has been complicated by an unusually high number of players seeking to make their comebacks using the system of injury-protected rankings. These include Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka among the expected list of stars returning to the circuit.

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