Emma Raducanu vs Naomi Osaka: Stars could meet in Italian Open second-round

Emma Raducanu could face Naomi Osaka

Emma Raducanu could meet Naomi Osaka in a mouth-watering second-round contest at the Italian Open next week. 

The clay-court tournament will feature many of the best players in the world and is considered a warm-up event for the French Open, which takes place later this month.

Raducanu, who is playing in her first full season on the WTA Tour, has adapted well to playing on clay so far –– reaching the quarter-finals in Stuttgart and the third round of the Madrid Open last week. 

Raducanu vs Osaka?

The Brit has now discovered her fate for the Italian Open and will meet another former US Open champion, Bianca Andreescu, in the first round. 

Andreescu has formerly been ranked as high as fourth in the world but is now 121st, having missed large chunks of last season through injury and illness. 

The Canadian also reached the third round in Madrid but lost to twelfth seed Jessica Pegula in straight sets. 

If Raducanu can come through this tough opening round matchup, she could face four-time major winner Osaka. 

Emma Raducanu at Madrid Open

The Japanese star was knocked by Sara Sorribes Tormo in the second round in Madrid, and faces the Spaniard again in Rome. 

After her defeat last week, Osaka cited an achilles injury but admitted she didn’t think it was that concerning. 

“I’ve had this injury a few times in the past, I remember it happened two years ago in Miami, but I honestly don’t think it’s a very serious problem,” she said.

Naomi Osaka at Madrid Open

Osaka is still searching for her first title on clay and recently revealed she’d been watching clips of Rafael Nadal to improve her game on the surface. 

A meeting between her and Raducanu would make for worthy viewing, with both looking to gain some much-needed momentum ahead of the second major of the year. 

Who else is playing in Rome? 

World number one Iga Swiatek, who is the defending champion in Rome, will bid to win yet another title this year and continue her remarkable winning streak. 

The Polish star has won four tournaments in succession and 23 matches in a row –– making her the firm favourite to claim a fifth consecutive title. 

Iga Swiatek wins Stuttgart Open

Those aiming to stop her include Spain’s Paula Badosa and Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka, who are seeded second and third respectively. 

Two-time major winner Simona Halep is also competing and will seek revenge against Alize Cornet, having lost to the French player in the fourth round of the Australian Open earlier this year.

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