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Emma Raducanu will make her grand slam return against American Shelby Rogers at the Australian Open.
Rogers was one of the players Raducanu, who is playing her first major tournament for a year following surgery on both wrists and one ankle, beat on her way to the US Open title in 2021.
Raducanu made a positive return in Auckland last week, pushing Elina Svitolina in the second round before tiring, but alarm bells began ringing when she pulled out of first an exhibition match at Melbourne Park on Tuesday and then another exhibition at the Kooyong Classic on Thursday.
However, Raducanu’s team insisted both were precautionary after she felt some soreness following a practice session on Monday and she practised for two hours at Melbourne Park on Thursday.
Raducanu looked relaxed and happy hitting with fellow British player Lily Miyazaki under the guidance of coach Nick Cavaday, with no strapping or obvious signs of discomfort.
Rogers is a kind draw on paper with the 31-year-old also coming off a long break having not played since Wimbledon and ranked down at 156.
All the British women avoided seeds in the first round, with Katie Boulter drawing China’s Yuan Yue and Jodie Burrage taking on German Tamara Korpatsch.
Emma Raducanu playing in Auckland last week (Brett Phibbs/Photosport via AP)
An intriguing women’s draw was headlined by top seed Iga Swiatek taking on 2020 champion Sofia Kenin, with the winner to play either another past winner in the returning Angelique Kerber or former finalist Danielle Collins.
Four-time grand slam champion Swiatek is the only one of that quartet who is yet to reach the final in Melbourne, although she will be a strong favourite to come through.
Naomi Osaka, who like Kerber is returning after having a baby, makes her grand slam comeback against 16th seed Caroline Garcia while reigning champion Aryna Sabalenka faces a qualifier.
Caroline Wozniacki’s first match in Melbourne since her retirement here in 2020 will be against 20th seed Magda Linette, with the Dane having returned to the sport last summer, reaching the fourth round of the US Open.
Andy Murray was the only British player to draw a seed, with the five-time former finalist taking on 25th-rated Argentinian Tomas Martin Etcheverry.
Should the Scot make the third round, he would expect to find himself up against top seed Novak Djokovic, who will open against a qualifier.
Cameron Norrie, the only British seed at 19, faces Peru’s Juan Pablo Varillas, with Jack Draper meeting American Marcos Giron and Dan Evans playing Italian Lorenzo Sonego.
Fourth seed Jannik Sinner was drawn in the top half as a potential semi-final opponent for Djokovic while Carlos Alcaraz and third seed Daniil Medvedev are in the bottom half.