Emma Raducanu’s opponent for the Australian Open warm-up event has been changed at the last minute.

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Emma Raducanu’s opponent for the Australian Open warm-up event was changed at the last minute.

Emma Raducanu, the US Open champion, was set to play Iga Swiatek in the first round of the Sydney Tennis Classic.

After 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek had to withdraw from the Sydney Tennis Classic, Emma Raducanu will face a late change of opponent in the first round of her Australian Open warm-up.

Raducanu is in Sydney for some much-needed game time ahead of the season’s first Grand Slam later this month, after not competing in a competitive event since November last year.

Swiatek’s Sydney Tennis Classic schedule has undergone a slight change of plans after she was forced to withdraw due to a rib injury.

Elena Rybakina, a Russian-born Kazakhstani, will take on Raducanu in the tournament opener in place of the world No. 9.

Raducanu will no doubt be hoping to go as far as possible in the warm-up event in preparation for the Australian Open, and Rybakina will provide another difficult test for the British teenager.

In September, the 19-year-old became an overnight sensation when she won the US Open in record-breaking fashion, defeating Leylah Fernandez in the final at Flushing Meadows.

Raducanu made history in New York by becoming the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam event, and she did so without dropping a single set.

Things haven’t been as easy since then, as Raducanu has only played five competitive tennis matches since her maiden Grand Slam victory four months ago, winning only two of them.

At the age of 18, the youngster became a Grand Slam champion, catapulting him into the spotlight.

Despite this, American legend Pam Shriver believes it will be some time before the Brit reaches the pinnacle of her abilities.

“I think 2022 is going to continue to be a challenge for her,” Shriver said on the WTA website ahead of the Australian tennis festival.

“I believe it will be 2023 when we have a better idea of her consistency level.”

“I could be wrong, but it seemed like such a big leap from qualifying to winning a major – something that had never been done before – followed by all these new business partnerships, recognition, and coaching changes.”

Shriver predicts as well.

“News from the Brinkwire.”

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