Emma Raducanu pulls out of Australian Open warm-up event after practicing in Melbourne

Emma Raducanu wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year

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Emma Raducanu has pulled out of the Australian Open warm-up event – the Melbourne Summer Set – just two weeks before the opening Grand Slam of the year gets underway.

Raducanu set to take part in the Melbourne-based warm-up event in preparation for the big one on the 17th of January, however the Brit has revealed the tournament has come ‘too soon’ after her recovery from COVID-19.

The 19-year-old tested positive for the virus whilst out in Abu Dhabi in December, and whilst travelling over to Australia has decided to withdraw from the warm up event to aid her rest and recovery.

In a statement the Brit said: “The timing to compete in the first Melbourne event this week is too soon for me, having just returned from isolation.”

Despite her withdrawal Raducanu has been out on the practice courts in Melbourne ahead of the opening Grand Slam of the year.

The teenager shared a video to her 2.1 million Instagram followers of her being put through her paces at the Rod Laver Arena along with the caption: “Very happy to be here.”

The 19-year-old became an overnight star back in September, after she defeated Leylah Annie Fernadez to win an historic US Open title at Flushing Meadows.

Raducanu broke a whole host of records on the way to her remarkable win, including becoming the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam event.

Now the youngster heads to Melbourne for her very first Australian Open, and will no doubt be hoping to replicate something similar to her heroics in New York.

Many of the sport’s biggest names have weighed in with their opinion on what to expect next from the 19-year-old, especially having such little WTA Tour experience to her name.

Despite her victory in the US, 18-time Grand Slam winner Martina Navratilova believes 2022 may be a more difficult season for Raducanu due to her lack of match experience.

She told the WTA website: “Players have seen her; they know what to do against her. But most of all, she just needs matches.

“She’s the biggest wildcard for me, because clearly, she has the ability to play great tennis.

“Can she replicate it consistently enough? Eight WTA-level tournaments in her life? That’s half a season. I’d go into Wimbledon with 10, 12 matches under my belt.”

Additionally, with the British star now announcing herself as one of tennis’ biggest stars Navratilova believes the youngster may find it difficult to deal with increasing pressures.

She continued: “Everybody’s going to be gunning for her. That’s the thing that’s going to look good on their resume.

“And the pressure’s going to be on her emotionally, as well. Being a Brit, she’s under a huge microscope and it’s hard to get away from it.”

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