Emma Raducanu’s US Open preparations take twist as opponent Jennifer Brady withdraws

Emma Raducanu recalls her on-court experience at Wimbledon

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Emma Raducanu’s US Open chances have been boosted after her the withdrawal of her tough first-round opponent. The 18-year-old was set to face this year’s Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady in her opening main draw match. The Brit, who qualified for a spot in her second successive Grand Slam, will now play lucky loser Stefanie Voegele.

Raducanu came through qualifying to secure a spot in the US Open main draw, her second successive Grand Slam after receiving a wildcard into Wimbledon earlier this year.

The 18-year-old faced a tough first round opponent in Jennifer Brady, a semi-finalist in Flushing Meadows last year and the runner-up at this year’s Australian Open.

The world No 14 had been struggling with a foot injury, and withdrew from the tournament on Monday (August 30).

It means Raducanu will now face lucky loser Stefanie Voegele in her opening round match on Tuesday (August 31).

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The teenage sensation announced herself to the tennis world with a run to the second week of Wimbledon last month.

She became the youngest British woman to make it to the round of 16 in the Open Era but retired while a set down to Ajla Tomljanovic in their fourth-round clash, citing breathing difficulties.

Raducanu then backed up her Wimbledon breakthrough with a run to her maiden WTA Tour-leval final at the Challenger event in Chicago earlier this month, losing to fellow 18-year-old Clara Tauson in a deciding set.

She reached a career-high ranking of world No 150 following her first-ever final, and breezed through US Open qualifying to secure a spot in the main draw.

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Raducanu was then drawn to play 13th seed Brady in a tough opening test.

However, the American has now been replaced by a lucky loser after pulling out of the tournament, with a knee injury given as her official reason for withdrawal.

It means the 18-year-old will now face world No 128 Stefanie Voegele in the first round instead.

The Swiss player lost in the final round of qualifying to Ana Konjuh but managed to secure a spot in the main draw following Brady’s withdrawal.

Raducanu will now like her chances of making it to at least the second round, where she can face the winner of a clash between Hailey Baptiste and Zhang Shuai.

The Chinese player recently beat Raducanu in what was her first match since Wimbledon, in the first round of the WTA 250 even in San Jose.

Recent Australian Open runner-up Brady is not the only high profile name to withdraw on the opening day of the tournament.

2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko also pulled out of the US Open for medical reasons, being replaced in the draw by lucky loser Greet Minnen.

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