Emma Raducanu could play Dayana Yastremska at Indian Wells a week after fleeing Ukraine

Emma Raducanu, Dayana Yastremska

Emma Raducanu could face Ukrainian refugee Dayana Yastremska in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open.

The British number one has received a bye through to round two and is seeded 11th for this year’s tournament.

Raducanu will play the winner of the match between Yastremska and France’s Caroline Garcia. The Ukrainian received a late wildcard for the event, having finished as the runner-up at the Lyon Open last week.

Remarkably, the 21-year-old competed in Lyon, despite fleeing her home city of Odessa just days before, due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. Yastremska and her sister Ivanna were forced to shelter underground for two nights before their parents successfully helped them reach safety in France.

The Ukrainian came agonisingly close to securing her fourth WTA title but was eventually beaten in three sets by China’s Zhang Shuai.

Nonetheless, her impressive showing saw her rise from 140th to 103rd in the rankings and has led to an invite for the prestigious Indian Wells tournament.

Meanwhile, Garcia is ranked 69th and has won seven career titles so far. The 28-year-old is accomplished on hard courts and has reached the fourth round of the Australian Open in the past.

Garcia also competed in Lyon last week but was knocked out in the semi-finals by eventual winner Zhang.

Raducanu has yet to face either opponent on the WTA tour to date and will be the favourite on paper, by virtue of her ranking.

Yet, despite being inside the world’s top 15, the Brit has won just one match so far in 2022 and has been plagued by injury problems.

The US Open champion suffered from blisters in Melbourne earlier this season and was forced to retire in the first round of the Guadalajara Open due to a hip injury.

There are question marks surrounding the Brit’s fitness ahead of Indian Wells but the 19-year-old has not yet withdrawn from the tournament –– suggesting she is fit and raring to go.

If she does win against Yastremska or Garcia, the Brit has a favourable route to the quarter-finals.

In the third round, the teenager would face either Tamara Zidansek, Anna Bondar or Petra Martic, while the fourth round could be against Karolina Pliskova, who has not played since November 2021.

The quarter-finals could then see Raducanu face number one seed Barbora Krejcikova. Reigning WTA finals champion Garbine Muguruza and former Roland Garros winner Iga Swiatek are both possible semi-final opponents.

Raducanu will not be thinking that far ahead, however, and will instead be watching Yastremska’s match against Garcia closely as she bids to rediscover her form this year.

All matches from the Indian Wells Masters will be available for live betting.