Defending champion Bianca Andreescu withdraws from US Open

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Saying she needs more time to regain her form, defending champion Bianca Andreescu has dropped out of the US Open.The Canadian made the announcement Thursday, calling it a difficult decision. Rafael Nadal, the 2019 men’s champion, has also said he will not participate in the event scheduled from August 31 to September 31. 13.

Andreescu has not played a game since his knee injury last October.

“I took this step to focus on my match fitness and make sure I come back ready to play at my top level,” Andreescu said in a statement.

“Winning the US Open last year has been the highlight of my career so far and I’m going to miss… to be there. However, I realize that unforeseen challenges, including the COVID pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete for the degree necessary to play at the highest level. ”

Andreescu tweeted in favor of the American Tennis Association’s decision to continue the US Open without fans in June.

Andreescu, 20, of Mississauga, Ont., Hinted she was set to return before COVID-19 shut down the sports world in March. But Andreescu, ranked sixth in the world, did not compete in any of the four events before the US Open when the sport resumed in August.

Andreescu joins World No.1 Ash Barty from Australia, No.5 Elina Svitolina from Ukraine and No.7 Kiki Bertens from the Netherlands in skipping the event.

The third and final Grand Slam of the season, the French Open, has been postponed from September 27 to October 27. 10. Wimbledon has been canceled this year.

Ranked outside the top 150 before last season, Andreescu climbed into the top 10 with tournament wins at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., The Rogers Cup in Toronto and the US Open, where she has upset American legend Serena Williams in the final. become the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam in singles.

Andreescu has been hampered by injuries for much of her career. Even in her breakthrough campaign in 2019, she missed most of the clay and turf seasons with injury.

WATCH | The rise of Bianca Andreescu:

At the end of calendar year 2018, Canadian tennis sensation Bianca Andreescu was ranked 152nd in the world. Now she is ranked fourth. How the hell did she get here? 2:18

Recipient of the Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s top athlete in 2019, Andreescu emerged from relative obscurity to reach last year’s season opener final in New Zealand with victories over the former world No. 1 Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki.

Andreescu propelled that momentum to Indian Wells, considered one of the best tournaments on the WTA Tour after the four Grand Slam tournaments. She upset the German Angelique Kerber in the final.

Barely a week later, the pair met again with Andreescu in a close match in Miami, after which an emotional Kerber called the Canadian “the drama queen.”

However, Andreescu withdrew from her next game due to a shoulder injury, preventing her from participating in all but one before the Rogers Cup.

At the hometown event, despite the rust, Andreescu started off with a victory over compatriot Eugenie Bouchard, then struggled for several long matches to advance to the final against Williams. After just four games, Williams retired with a back injury, giving the title to Andreescu, who embraced the American immediately after her decision and earned praise from the longtime star for her words of encouragement.

In the rematch at the US Open, Williams staged a big rally in the second set before Andreescu rebounded to finish the domestic favorite in straight sets.

After several weeks of rest, Andreescu’s 17-game winning streak finally ended in a loss to Naomi Osaka at the China Open. In the same country a few weeks later, during the WTA Finals in October, Andreescu injured his knee.

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