Melbourne | Raducanu pulls out of exhibition as Cavaday joins her Down Under

Emma Raducanu has not exactly covered herself in glory by withdrawing from a charity exhibition match with Naomi Osaka on Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park at the last minute due to ‘soreness’, causing the event to be cancelled.

Raducanu made her return to the match court last week, following 8 months on the injury sidelines after undergoing surgery on both wrists and ‘a minor procedure’ on her left ankle.

The 2021 US Open champion won her opening round in Auckland against her friend Elena Gabriela Ruse, before suffering a dramatic and thrilling 3 set defeat to eventual finalist Elina Svitolina.

After 5 withdrawals, Raducanu has gained direct entry into the main draw of the Australian Open, and had elected to sign up for two exhibition events this week.

The first was scheduled to take place earlier today against the also returning Naomi Osaka, but the former World No 1 withdrew first and was replaced by Donna Vekic.

Raducanu followed suit, after reportedly waking up with a ‘little soreness’ following a 2-hour practice session the previous evening, leading to the charity exhibition match to be cancelled entirely.

The Brit has been slammed on social media, branded a ‘disgrace’ by fans, many of whom were already on their way, and were left furious at the decision.

“20 minutes and still no email or text from Ticketmaster informing ticket holders of this,” one fan posted.. “People have already [left] or are about to head out now, I reckon a lot would’ve just stayed home if they knew there’s no match.”

“This is so unprofessional lol,” another wrote. “People legit travelled across the country for this,” while a third added: “It would be nice if there was an official statement…”

Meanwhile, the Brit has been joined in Melbourne by childhood coach Nick Cavaday, with the pair set to work together for the first major of 2024.

Raducanu is still currently signed up to play the Kooyong Classic exhibition event, that takes place between 10th-12th January, alongside Paula Badosa and 16-year old Mirra Andreeva.

The 21-year old, who is ranked 229, is set to take on the Russian teenage sensation Andreeva on Thursday.

The Brit, will discover who her opponent at the Australian Open will be on the same day, with the draw also due to take place on the Thursday.



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