Raducanu on course for Halep showdown

Emma Raducanu (40/1 to win event) could face childhood hero Simona Halep at this week’s Miami Open, with six Brits set to be involved in the tournament across the men’s and women’s draw.

The opening round of the women’s tournament will get underway on Tuesday, and with 27 of the world’s top 30 players set to compete in the WTA 1000 event, it promises to be a highly-competitive 12 days of action.

British number one Raducanu is the 11th seed and has received a bye into the second round where she will face either a qualifier or Czech player Katerina Siniakova.

Raducanu’s form since her shock victory at last year’s US Open has been patchy, as she has won just four matches on the WTA Tour since that Flushing Meadows success, but the incentive to reach round three is there for the 19-year-old, as she could come up against childhood hero Halep (10/1 to win event).

The teenager has previously admitted to idolising Halep, who was born in Romania, the same country where Raducanu’s father is from, and she could now face her hero in Florida, with Halep set to face either Greet Minnen or Daria Saville in her second-round match.

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Heather Watson is the other Brit in the women’s draw, with the 29-year-old set to take on Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands in the first round on Tuesday (Watson 6/5, Rux 4/6 – Match Result) The winner of that tie will go on to face former world number three Elina Svitolina.

There are four Brits in the men’s draw, including two-time Miami Open winner Andy Murray, who will be in first-round action on Wednesday against Argentina’s Federico Delbonis. A clash with world number two Daniil Medvedev awaits the winner of that contest.

British number five Jack Draper will also be competing in the first round on Wednesday when he takes on experienced Frenchman Gilles Simon, while Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans are seeded and have received byes into round two.

Rafael Nadal will not be competing in Florida, with the Australian Open champion having complained of breathing problems during last week’s defeat to Taylor Fritz in the Indian Wells final – that was the Spaniard’s first loss of the season.

Fritz is seeded 11 for this tournament and will face either a qualifier of Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp in round two.

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