Emma Raducanu will compete in Britain for the first time since her US Open triumph when she faces Elena-Gabriela Ruse at the Champions Tennis exhibition at the Royal Albert Hall this month.
Since turning 19 on Saturday and appointing a new coach, Torben Beltz, after her final event of the season at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz tournament, Raducanu has been enjoying time off following a hectic and unprecedented first few months as a full-time professional.
Ruse is one of Raducanu’s friends on tour. The pair trained together numerous times at the Transylvania Open in Cluj-Napoca last month and their teams went for dinner together. The 24-year-old was one of numerous Romanian players who welcomed Raducanu into their group during the tournament.
“We started to be friends, she’s a nice person,” Ruse told the Guardian last month. “I enjoy the time with her so much. She is speaking really good Romanian but she’s so shy to do it.”
After the exhibition, Raducanu will look towards pre-season training as she begins preparations for her first full season on the WTA tour. The Australian Open will mark just the third grand slam tournament of her young career.
Meanwhile, the former British No 1 Kyle Edmund has withdrawn from the Battle of the Brits exhibition scheduled for 21-22 December in Aberdeen. Edmund underwent surgery on his left knee in April but his recovery has been slower than expected, meaning his presence at the Australian Open a few weeks later is in doubt. Edmund, a former world No 14, last competed in October 2020.