Raducanu tests positive for COVID-19 and withdraws from Abu Dhabi

Raducanu was scheduled to play Belinda Bencic but organizers are now looking for a last-minute replacement

Britain's Emma Raducanu in action during her match against Romania's Elena-Gabriela Ruse at the Royal Albert Hall, London.

US Open champion Emma Raducanu has tested positive for COVID-19 in Abu Dhabi, forcing her to pull-out of the women’s match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships.

The 19-year-old Brit, who stunned the tennis world by becoming the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam event, was scheduled to play Belinda Bencic in the women’s match at the exhibition event. Organizers have said they are looking for a replacement for the Brit to ensure the women’s match will be held.

In a statement released, Raducanu said, “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. I’m isolating as per rules and hopefully will be able to get back on court soon.”

Nadal hits the practice courts in Abu Dhabi

On the men’s side, Rafael Nadal, a five-time champion at Abu Dhabi, has arrived in the region and has been hitting the practice courts.

Nadal, who has not played on the tour since August, will play his first match in Abu Dhabi on Friday against the winner of Thursday’s clash between three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray and former US Open champion Dominic Thiem.

Also on Thursday, Casper Ruud and Denis Shapovalov will clash with the winner advancing to the semi-finals against Andrey Rublev. The play-offs for fifth and sixth place takes place on Friday with the play-off for third place and the final taking place on Saturday.

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