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Emma Raducanu has pulled out of a charity match in Melbourne, after saying she feels “sore” ahead of the Australian Open.
Raducanu had been due to face Donna Vekic on Tuesday after Naomi Osaka, her original opponent, withdrew from the encounter.
But with the first grand slam of the year just a few days away, and after a long practice session on Monday, the 2021 US Open champion also opted to miss the encounter, which was subsequently cancelled.
Four charity matches had been scheduled at Melbourne Park this week ahead of the Australian Open, which begins on Sunday.
Carlos Alcaraz, who is among the main contenders for the men’s title, takes on home favourite Alex de Minaur on Wednesday.
Raducanu endured a difficult 2023 with wrist and ankle surgeries leaving her unable to compete for much of the year.
The 21-year-old made her return to court in Auckland last week, losing to second seed Elina Svitolina in the second round, and is due to face Russian teenager Mirra Andreeva at an exhibition event in Australia later this week.
Emma Raducanu made her return to action in Auckland last week
Despite her injury lay-off, Raducanu has earned entry into the main draw of the Australian Open. She will find out her first round opponent on Thursday.
The British player has reunited with coach Nick Cavaday ahead of the event, with the former head coach of the Lawn Tennis Association’s National Academy guiding Raducanu during her Monday practice session.
“The biggest goal I have going forward is just being healthy, being injury free,” Raducanu said last week.
“And then tennis-wise I think it’s really important for me to approach it with the identity of how I want to play tennis and not let anything dictate that. And then, results-wise, I want to be more consistent.”