Aryna Sabalenka Tests Positive For COVID; Out Of BNP Paribas Open

NEW YORK - AUGUST 30, 2018: Professional tennis player Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in action during her 2018 US Open round of 64 match at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

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Aryna Sabalenka, who is ranked No. 2 in the world in the WTA rankings, has been forced out of this week’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California after testing positive for COVID-19.

The 23-year-old Belarusian announced she tested positive for the coronavirus with a statement on social media.

Sabalenka was set to be the top-ranked player in the field following No. 1-ranked Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty’s withdrawal earlier. It would have been Sabalenka’s first match since her semifinals defeat to Leylah Fernandez at the U.S. Open.

“Unfortunately I’ve tested positive at Indian Wells and won’t be able to compete,” Sabalenka wrote. “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 feeling OK but really sad to not be able to play this year.”

Other top players like Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams have also withdrawn from Indian Wells which was originally scheduled to take place in March, but it was moved due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sabalenka will look to recover in time to participate in the season-ending WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico next month. The WTA Finals will feature the world’s top eight singles players and top eight doubles teams.

Indian Wells kicks off on Monday, October 4 and runs through Sunday, October 17.

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