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Emma Raducanu set to play in Qatar Open after receiving wild card

Emma Raducanu has been given a wild card into the Qatar Open and will face Anhelina Kalinina in the opening round.

The former US Open champion revealed after losing to Ons Jabeur in the second round of the WTA Tour event in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday that she was hoping to play in Doha.

Her wish has been granted and the 21-year-old, who has won three of her six matches following her return from eight months on the sidelines, will open her campaign against 32nd-ranked Ukrainian Kalinina early next week.

They have played once before, on the clay courts of Madrid in 2022, with Kalinina winning a close contest in three sets.

The winner of the match will take on big-hitting eighth seed Jelena Ostapenko, who has already won two titles this season.

Raducanu has shown early promise after returning to the tour at the beginning of January following her recovery from three operations last spring, on both wrists and one ankle.

A comprehensive first-round win over Marie Bouzkova in Abu Dhabi saw Raducanu produce some of her best form since her 2021 victory in New York, but she was disappointed by a 6-4 6-1 defeat against Jabeur.

"It was a tough match," said Raducanu. "Ons is a difficult opponent so credit to her, she played really well and it's just a match that personally I need to forget about."

The Qatar tournament, the first WTA 1000 event of the season – the highest level of the tour – sees both Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff playing for the first time since the Australian Open, but Melbourne champion Aryna Sabalenka is not in the field.

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