WTA Moscow loses Emma Raducanu but Aryna Sabalenka accepts wild-card

World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka and 20th-ranked Anett Kontaveit have accepted a wild card into next week’s WTA 500 event in Moscow, per Michal Samulski. 

Sabalenka, 23, is set to make her main draw debut on the indoor-hard courts of Moscow. 

Sabalenka tried to make the Moscow main draw in 2016 but back then she suffered a defeat in the qualifying first round. 

Sabalenka is set to return to action after testing positive for COVID-19 just before the start of the Indian Wells Masters. 

Sabalenka was projected to be the No. 1 seed in Indian Wells before a positive test kept her out of the tournament. 

It remains to be seen if Sabalenka will be affected in Moscow by her recent bout with COVID-19. 

On Thursday, the Moscow organizers suffered a big blow when Emma Raducanu and Belinda Bencic pulled out of the tournament. 

Adding Sabalenka and Kontaveit to the player field should make the organizers happy.

Sabalenka badly wanted to play Indian Wells 

Instead of competing in the sunny Indian Wells, Sabalenka was placed in quarantine after testing positve for COVID-19. 

“It’s so beautiful outside! I want to play, I want to do tournaments. I’m tired of training or doing nothing. I need to go outside and play. Why couldn’t they just isolate me from the other players and let me play? I could keep my distance and stay away from everyone. But I guess it wouldn’t work well because we would always hit the same balls, and it could be dangerous,” Sabalenka said in Indian Wells. 

Meanwhile, Anett Kontaveit is set to make her second appearance in Moscow. 

On Thursday, Kontaveit lost to Ons Jabeur in the Indian Wells quarterfinal. 

“Honestly a great match, great fight,” Jabeur said after the win. “Always tough to play against Anett. I tried to play my game little bit, but she knows me so well. It was kind of tough to kind of execute those dropshots. 

“I’m pretty glad that I stayed calm when I needed to be. It was very stressful at the end. But I’m glad that I got the win and looking forward to play. Why not get the title here?”