Raducanu positive for COVID; US Open champ out of exhibition

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu tested positive for COVID-19 and pulled out of an exhibition match in the United Arab Emirates on Monday.

Organizers of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship announced Raducanu’s withdrawal, saying the British teenager is isolating and following protocols.

A replacement for Raducanu is being sought to fill in and play Belinda Bencic in Abu Dhabi.

Raducanu won the U.S. Open in September to become the first qualifier to claim a Grand Slam singles title. Ranked just 150th at the time and winning 10 consecutive matches in straight sets, she became at age 18 the youngest female winner of a major championship since Maria Sharapova was 17 at Wimbledon in 2004.

Raducanu recently was voted the WTA Newcomer of the Year.

“After testing positive for COVID-19, I will have to postpone until the next opportunity to play in front of the fans here, which I was very much looking forward to,” Raducanu was quoted as saying in the news release issued by the event’s organizers. “I’m isolating as per rules and hopefully will be able to get back on court soon.”

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