Sabalenka positive for virus, out of BNP Paribas Open

Sports

Aryna Sabalenka,of Belarus, reacts after losing a point to Leylah Fernandez, of Canada, during the semifinals of the US Open tennis championships, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Second-ranked Aryna Sabalenka says she has tested positive for the coronavirus and will miss the upcoming BNP Paribas Open.

The Belarusian player was due to be top-seeded for the Oct. 4-17 tournament at Indian Wells after No. 1-ranked Wimbledon champion Ash Barty withdrew to rest at home in Australia.

“Unfortunately I’ve tested positive at Indian Wells and won’t be able to compete,” Sabalenka wrote on Instagram on Saturday. “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.”

The tournament in the South California desert would have been Sabalenka’s first competitive event since her loss to Leylah Fernandez in the semifinals of the U.S. Open on Sept. 10.

She is the latest in a string of players who will not compete at Indian Wells, including Barty, Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams on the women’s side and Novak Djokovic in the men’s tournament. The BNP Paribas Open was moved from its usual March date because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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