Emma Raducanu in the first round of the 2023 Australian Open, Melbourne.
Emma Raducanu in the first round of the 2023 Australian Open, Melbourne | (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

Tennis | WTA Indian Wells 2023 | Raducanu battles against tonsillitis and injury as she plays for the first time since the Australian Open

By Ros Satar

  • Emma Raducanu v Danka Kovinic
  • H2H: Kovinic leads 2-1
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA, USA – Emma Raducanu continues her battle against injury and illness, and she faces Danka Kovinic in her BNP Paribas Open first round match.


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Emma Raducanu v Danka Kovinic | H2H & Match Fundamentals

The battles continue for Emma Raducanu. Recurring injuries, freak injuries and now recovering from tonsillitis all mean that her continuing preparation for a sustained life on the tour gets knocked back. She will face Danka Kovinic in her opener.


Emma Raducanu v Danka Kovinic H2H: Kovinic leads 1-0
WTA Indian Wells California, USA
Hard (O) Prize Money: $18,660
Second on Stadium 1, not before 12:30pm (8:30pm GMT) Amazon Prime Video <– Sign up for trial


Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (Hard Court 2023)

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H2H: Emma Raducanu (WR 77) Danka Kovinic (WR 62)
Tournament Previous Best R3 (2022) R3 (2022)
1st Serve Return Points Won % 37.0 33.3
Return Points Won % 45.7 42.2
Break Point Conversion % 36.2 43.1
Break Points Saved % 56.5 59.6
Total Points Won % 52.2 50.6

While Kovinic started her year strongly with the Auckland semi-final, and the Lyon quarter-final, she has struggled to keep that progress consistent week on week, most recently losing to Heather Watson in the opening round in Austin.

However, she does have more match time in her lags than Raducanu, who has not played since the Australian Open, where she went out in an albeit entertaining match against Coco Gauff.

It feels like she just cannot catch a break, now adding a recurrence of the wrist injury that flared up last year, but she is rightly being cautious, having pulled out of the Eisenhower Cup exhibition match, and cancelling training sessions.


Playing Styles & Prediction

Raducanu’s naturally aggressive game would usually make her a front-runner. Her athleticism and ability to strike the ball early on the rise can make her a relentless opponent. Kovinic has had to learn to be more patient in her game, and it has paid off by and large, and she has the edge coming into this encounter.

The fact she has played more gives her stats a little more edge, especially when it comes to converting and saving break points, but even allowing for the few matches that Raducanu has played, she still comes off better in her return game stats – and that should give her hope that she can hang in there for a bit of a fight.

Prediction: Kovinic in three sets.


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