The season of tennis comebacks is almost upon us, with two rising talents set to rejoin the action.
Emma Raducanu and Amanda Anisimova are gearing up for their eagerly awaited returns at the ASB Classic in Auckland, slated for January 1-7th.
Raducanu, the victor of the 2021 US Open, is eyeing a 2024 return to competitive tennis following ankle and dual wrist surgeries last May. The young star, who turned 21 on November 13, concluded an injury-riddled 2023 with a 5-5 record, and has been actively sharing her practice sessions from Hong Kong on social media.
Similarly, Anisimova withdrew from the 2023 season last May due to health concerns. The 22-year-old, a 2019 Roland Garros semifinalist at just 17, admitted to feeling overwhelmed by tennis, citing burnout as her reason for stepping back.
“I thought I’d make a post explaining what’s been going on and my plans,” Anisimova wrote in a candid Instagram post on May 5. “I’ve really been struggling with my mental health and burnout since the summer of 2022. It’s become unbearable being at tennis tournaments.
“At this point my priority is my mental well-being and taking a break for some time. I’ve worked as hard as I could to push through it. I will miss being out there, and I appreciate all the continuous support.”
During her break, Anisimova discovered a passion for art, taking classes and sharing her impressive creations online.
Ranked 367th in the world, Anisimova wrapped up her 2023 season with a 3-8 record. The upcoming Auckland tournament marks her first since facing Arantxa Rus at the Mutua Madrid Open last May.
Both Raducanu and Anisimova will be in distinguished company, joining former No. 1s and Grand Slam champions Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber in their 2024 comebacks.
Adding to the list of returns, Caroline Wozniacki, a former No. 1, has been granted a wild card for the 2024 Australian Open. This marks her return to a tournament she conquered six years prior, defeating Simona Halep to claim the title.