Emma Raducanu is set to play Caroline Garcia of France in Indian Wells despite being told there was “no chance” she would be fit.
The US Open champion had to retire with a leg injury when playing Daria Saville in Guadalajara two weeks ago.
Raducanu had a first-round bye here in California, while Garcia – who has been as high as four in the world – beat Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine.
“It’s a bit of a bonus for me,” said Britain’s Raducanu.
“Basically everyone was like ‘there’s no chance you are playing Indian Wells’.”
The 19-year-old was compromised by a blister at the Australian Open, and has been able to play only four matches so far this year.
“I was hoping first of all for a really good pre-season in December which didn’t happen because I got Covid as soon as I arrived, and then I took three weeks off,” she added.
“Then in Australia I kind of felt the effect of that because I got blisters because my hands got soft, and then after that I got a leg injury.
“But it’s all part of it, all these spanners in the works. I feel I can take whatever bad luck is thrown at me after all the good fortune I had last year.
“But, yes, it is frustrating because I was hoping to build on it, but I’m sure I’ve got many more chances and tournaments to try and redeem that.”
Raducanu’s father Ian is with her in Indian Wells, along with her German coach Torben Beltz.
British qualifier Harriet Dart is also in action on Friday against Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.
“It’s amazing that a lot of the Ukrainian girls are playing here,” Dart said after beating Ana Konjuh of Croatia in the first round.
“I think it’s amazing that they are even able to compete and play tennis.”
In the men’s singles, Andy Murray plays his first-round match against Taro Daniel of Japan and qualifier Liam Broady takes on Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic.
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