After testing positive for Covid-19…

One of tennis’ brightest young stars, Emma Raducanu was all set to start the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) this Thursday, December 16.

Sadly event organisers have now confirmed that she has tested positive for Covid-19, is isolating and will now not be able to compete in the tournament.

She’s the British teenager who set the sporting world on fire this summer with a genuinely historic win at the US Open Singles. A victory made all the more memorable by the fact she didn’t drop a set. The win saw her entered into the record books as the first British female to win a Grand Slam since Virginia Wade took the Venus Rosewater Dish trophy at Wimbledon in 1977.

Regarding replacements event organisers have said: “We are looking at alternative top female competitors to go head-to-head with Belinda Bencic; further updates will be provided in due course.”

It’s a blow for Emma Raducanu, but she remains hopeful about returning in the future: “I was very much looking forward to playing in front of the fans here in Abu Dhabi, but unfortunately after testing positive for Covid-19, I will have to postpone until the next opportunity. I’m isolating as per rules and hopefully will be able to get back on court soon.”

What’s On had the honour of talking to her recently about her ascent into sporting mega stardom.

What’s On: We understand you’re back in action after a well-deserved vacation (the first in seven years). How was it?

Emma Raducanu: It was great! It was so good to just switch off and relax. I did a few fun things and spent a bit of time on the jet ski which was cool. It was a good time to reflect on everything that has happened and now I’ve come back really energized and excited for training.

WO: You’ve had an incredible year. If you had to sum it up in a sentence how would you describe it? 

ER: Just a big surprise and very rewarding that my patience has paid off.

WO: Do you remember the first time you picked up a tennis racquet?

ER: Yes, it was a £2 toy racket from a petrol station that my dad picked up for me on a stop when I was very young, I can’t remember exactly how old but that was the start of it.

WO: For someone so young, you’re extremely calm on court. What goes through your mind at tense moments in games?

ER: I usually focus very much so on the next point, not getting too far ahead and thinking through my plan for the point.

WO: Do you have any pre-match rituals?

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ER: I always try and have a good meal a couple of hours before I play, usually chicken pasta. I’ll do the same warm up each match and at each tournament, there will be nuances to my routine that come in.

WO: What are your goals for the upcoming season?

ER: My main goal is to really build my physical robustness, learning continued patience as I’m still in my early development stages and also remaining kind to myself.

WO: Apart from your racquets, what’s the one essential item you take on the road?

ER: My milk frother!! And crunchy peanut butter.

Images: Provided