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It has been a cautiously optimistic return for Emma Raducanu, although she had to withdraw from planned exhibition matches after feeling sore. She will face Shelby Rogers once more in a Slam, having defeated her on the way to her historic US Open victory.
Both had a torrid year with injuries and as such have slid down the rankings. Raducanu closed down her season during the clay court swing, and Rogers did not fare much better, ending her 2023 after Wimbledon.
Playing Styles & Prediction
Raducanu perhaps comes into this match the very slight favourite only by virtue of havng had some match play in 2024, while Rogers’ extended hiatus means she will start her year in Melbourne.
Raducanu will have to battle the soreness that probably was to be expected coming back from a long injury break, and we have to hope her withdrawals were more as a precaution than a worrying trend.
She at least has the confidence that she has beaten Rogers on the Slam stage in the past, but she should expect to still put in a battle.
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