Miami Open tournament director James Blake is happy to give Emma Raducanu a Miami Open wild card as the Brit’s history reminds him of the time when Maria Sharapova first hit the WTA Tour. “Raducanu is such an incredible story of what she did at the US Open, taking the world by storm like we haven’t seen since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon at such a young age and became a media phenomenon.
It’s been a bit tough ever since, but realistically for his age, he’s getting better and it turned out he had one of his best performances at one of the biggest events on the calendar. She keeps progressing.
We are happy that she will be in Miami. With the success she’s had on hard courts, I hope she feels comfortable here.»
blake told him the miami herald.
Blake compares Raducanu’s ‘incredible story’ to Sharapova
In 2004, the 17-year-old Sharapova took tennis by storm after winning Wimbledon.
By the time Sharapova became world number 1 in August 2005, she was already one of the most popular and marketable tennis players around. In 2021, the 18-year-old Raducanu made all the headlines after becoming the first qualifier in tennis history to win a Grand Slam.
Shortly after her stunning victory at the US Open, Raducanu became the global ambassador for some of the world’s biggest brands including Dior, Tiffany & Co, Channel etc. Although Raducanu hasn’t had much success on the court since her US Open victory, she remains one of the most popular players in the game.
This March, Raducanu will make his second appearance at the Miami Open. Last year, Raducanu was seeded in Miami and had a bye in the first round of the tournament. After a first round bye, Raducanu was bested by Katerina Siniakova in a tight second round match in three sets.
This time, Raducanu will be unseeded and will have to start his campaign from the first round. How well Raducanu can do in Miami this year remains to be seen.