Thursday, May 23, 2024

Emma Raducanu to play Karolina Pliskova in Madrid Open first round as she looks to continue form on clay -Dlight News

Emma Raducanu will play two-time Grand Slam finalist and former world No 1 Karolina Pliskova in the first round of the Madrid Open on Wednesday as she looks to continue her encouraging form on the clay.

Raducanu won four matches in a row on the surface last week, with two victories while representing Great Britain against France at the Billie Jean King Cup followed by triumphs over Angelique Kerber and Linda Noskova at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.

The Briton was knocked out in the quarter-finals in Stuttgart after a gutsy defeat to world No 1 Iga Swiatek.

The 2021 US Open champion will now return to the court in the Spanish capital, live on Sky Sports, against Pliskova, a player who made the 2016 US Open final and 2021 Wimbledon final and who is currently ranked 46th in the world.

Should Raducanu win her opening match, she will face 17th seed Veronika Kudermetova in round two.

Boulter on collision course with defending champion Sabalenka?

Fellow Brit Katie Boulter has been given a first-round bye as she is the 26th seed and will meet the winner of the match between American wild card Robin Montgomery and Russia’s Elina Avanesyan.

Katie Boulter will play second seed Aryna Sabalenka if both players make it to the third round in Madrid.

Boulter will play second seed Aryna Sabalenka if both players make it to the third round in Madrid.

Sabalenka has won the Madrid Open in two of the last three years, defeating Swiatek in the 2023 final and the now-retired Ashleigh Barty in 2021.

However, the Belarusian has not passed the quarter-finals in any event since winning the Australian Open in January.

Elena Rybakina won the title in Stuttgart last week, beating Swiatek in the semi-finals and then Marta Kostyuk in the final, as she claimed her third title of the year after wins in Brisbane in January and Abu Dhabi in February.

Rybakina will meet either Italy’s Lucia Bronzetti or a qualifier in the second round.

Nadal could face De Minaur again

In the men’s draw, Rafael Nadal was drawn against American wild card Darwin Blanch and should he win that match, he will face Alex de Minaur for the second tournament running.

Nadal lost to De Minaur in straight sets as he made his tennis comeback at the Barcelona Open last week.

British No 1 Cameron Norrie gets a bye to the second round as he’s seeded 29th, while Dan Evans and Jack Draper will face qualifiers.

Carlos Alcaraz is back after a month away from tennis and is seeded second, while Jannik Sinner is the top seed.

How to watch play on Sky Sports Tennis

Sky Sports will broadcast more live tennis than anywhere else in 2024, including on its dedicated tennis channel, bringing over 4,000 matches from more than 80 tournaments a year on the ATP and WTA Tours, plus full coverage of the US Open exclusively live.

Non-Sky subscribers can stream live matches contract-free with a NOW Sports Day or Month Membership.

Fans will also be able to follow their favourite players and gain deeper insights from both Tours via Sky Sports News, the Sky Sports App and as well as via Sky Sports’ social channels.

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