Tennis: Sabalenka tests positive for Covid-19, out of Indian Wells

Aryna Sabalenka's absence is another blow to the Oct 4-17 event. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka will not play at the Indian Wells tournament after testing positive for Covid-19, the 23-year-old said.

Sabalenka, who lost to Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez in the US Open semifinal last month, was the top seed in the women's draw at the Indian Wells after world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty pulled out from the WTA 1000 event near Los Angeles.

"Unfortunately I've tested positive at Indian Wells and won't be able to compete," Belarusian Sabalenka wrote on her Instagram story on Saturday (Oct 2).

"I've started my isolation and I'll be staying here until I'm cleared by the doctors and health officials. So far I'm looking ok but really sad to not be able to play this year."

Sabalenka's absence is another blow to the Oct 4-17 event, with men's world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, 2018 champion Naomi Osaka and 23-times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams also not competing.

Sabalenka has already qualified for the season-ending WTA Finals, contested by the world's top eight singles players and eight doubles teams, which will be held next month in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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