US Open champion Emma Raducanu and former No.1 Kim Clijsters have received main-draw wildcards into next week's BNP Paribas Open, the prestigious WTA 1000 event, which returns after a two-year hiatus. A two-time Indian Wells champion in 2003 and 2005, Clijsters is set to make her return to the California desert for the first time since 2011.
The 18-year-old Raducanu rocketed up the rankings, from No.150 to No.22, after her historic win in New York, where she became the first qualifier in the Open Era to win a major. Raducanu did not lose a set through 10 matches.
Raducanu made her WTA Tour debut in June at the WTA 250 event in Nottingham before making the Round of 16 at Wimbledon in just her second tour-level event. Transitioning to the hardcourts, Raducanu reached the final of the WTA 125 event in Chicago, then reeled off 20 straight sets in New York.
Given her rise, Indian Wells will be just the fifth tour-level event of Raducanu's career.
In addition to Raducanu and Clijsters, main-draw wildcards also went to Americans Caty McNally, Claire Liu, Katie Volynets, Katrina Scott, Ashlyn Krueger, and France's Elsa Jacquemot.
This year's edition of Indian Wells will not include the reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champions. World No.1 Ashleigh Barty confirmed her withdrawal from the tournament because of a change of schedule and Naomi Osaka has also pulled out.
"The BNP Paribas Open is one of my favourite events on the calendar," Barty said in a statement. "It was a tough decision to withdraw but I know a few weeks of rest and seeing family back in Australia is the right thing for me at this point of the season.
"I wish the tournament and the WTA all the best for a successful event and hope I’ll be back in Palm Springs in 2022."
Main draw play at the BNP Paribas Open begins on Wednesday, Oct. 6.