Dominic Thiem, Emma Raducanu headline qualifying draw

Two Indians also make it in singles category.

As the Australian Open 2024 draws near, the tennis world turns its attention to the qualifying entry lists, headlined by Autria’s Dominic Thiem and Emma Raducanu in the men’s and women’s category. Both recent US Open champions, the Austrian and the Brit, are set to bring a wealth of talent and intrigue to the qualifying fields.

Raducanu, the only player in Open Era history to win a major trophy after beginning in the qualifying rounds, will enter the event with a special ranking of 103. Despite being sidelined since April due to wrist and ankle surgeries, the 21-year-old is expected to make a strong comeback.

Thiem, also recovering from a wrist injury, is just one spot outside the main draw. The former world no.3, who won the 2020 US Open, closed 2023 on a high note, winning four of his last six matches and qualifying for the Paris Masters. His participation in qualifying, however, is not guaranteed and hinges on a main-draw withdrawal.

Indian tennis players Sumit Nagal and Ankita Raina are also ready to make their mark. Having secured their spots in the qualifying round, they are India’s sole representatives in the singles category. The first Grand Slam of the season, scheduled from January 14-28, will witness Nagal, India’s top-ranked men’s singles player, and Ankita showcasing their talent on the global stage.

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Sumit Nagal, currently ranked 138th globally, has shown remarkable resilience and determination. The 26-year-old from Jhajjar, Haryana, made a successful comeback in 2023 after a serious hip injury in 2021. His journey to the top 150 has been very diligent.

Meanwhile, Ankita Raina in 2023 managed to qualify for the main draw of the WTA 250 Poland Open, but was narrowly defeated by Jodie Burrage in a closely contested three-set match. The following week, she entered the WTA Prague Open as a lucky loser and achieved her first WTA Tour main-draw win of the season against former world No. 16, Barbora Strýcová.

During the US Open, Ankita Raina made it to the final round of qualifying round but was defeated in straight sets by Mirjam Bjorklund. This marked the second time Raina had reached the final round of qualifiers.

Top seeds in the qualifying draw of Australian Open 2024

Men’s – Dominic Thiem, Yosuke Watanuki, Quentin Halys, Flavio Cobolli, Jason Kubler, Tomas Vera, Hugo Gaston, Michael Mmoh

Women’s – Kamilla Rakhimova, Yafan Wang, Dayana Yatremska, Tamara Zidansek, Emma Raducanu, Renata Zarazua, Sara Errani, Kaja Juvan

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