Emma Raducanu delays tennis comeback by pulling out of Chicago Fall Classic

US Open champion Emma Raducanu has withdrawn from next week's Chicago Fall Tennis Classic tournament.

The 18-year-old hasn't played since her historic triumph in Flushing Meadows, where she beat fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in the final to become the first qualifier in history win a Grand Slam tournament.

She was due to return to America for the event in Chicago, which gets underway on September 27, and is classed as a WTA event for the first time this year.

However, she has now joined a host of other high-profile tennis stars in opting not to compete, with the likes of American teenage star Coco Gauff, last year's Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, and US Open semi-finalist Aryna Sabalenka having already withdrawn.

The new British No.1 is now expected to make her return to the court at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on October 6, which is one of the biggest non-Grand Slam events in tennis.

The prize money for winning at Indian Wells is $1.2m (£884,572) with $640,000 (£467,977) going to the runner-up – figures dwarfed by the $2.5 million (£1.8 million) Raducanu received for her success in New York.

Ironically, qualification for Indian Wells was based on rankings prior to the US Open so Raducanu will be reliant upon being handed a wildcard into the main draw – and the tournament boasts a high quality field which includes the likes of Ash Barty, Aryna Sabalenka, Karolina Plikova, and Fernandez.

This week Raducanu took to Instagram to reveal she was back in her fitness regime, posting a short video clip of herself pounding away on the treadmill in a gym, along with the line "back with a sweat on."

It's the first footage of her since she returned home to Bromley, Kent, last week, and her likely participation at the BNP Paribas Open will be accompanied by frenzied media attention.

The tournament hasn't been played since 2019 and was then won by Canadian player Bianca Andreescu, now 21, in the same year she claimed the US Open, her maiden Grand Slam title.

However, if Raducanu is to repeat that feat, she will have to do things the other way around. The BNP Paribas Open is traditionally held in the spring, but is being player lated in the season this time around after the tennis calendar was disrupted by Covid-19.

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