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  • September 27, 2020

Defending champion Bianca Andreescu pulls out of U.S Open

With her preparations hampered during the COVID-19 pandemic, defending champion Bianca Andreescu has dropped out of the U.S. Open.

With her preparations hampered during the COVID-19 pandemic, defending champion Bianca Andreescu has dropped out of the U.S. Open.

The Canadian made the announcement on Thursday, calling it a difficult decision.

Andreescu hasn’t played a match since suffering a knee injury last October.

“I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level,” Andreescu said in a statement. “The U.S. Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss … being there. However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the COVID pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at the highest level.”

The Canadian made the announcement on Thursday, calling it a difficult decision.

Andreescu hasn’t played a match since suffering a knee injury last October.

“I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level,” Andreescu said in a statement.

“The U.S. Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss … being there. However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the COVID pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at the highest level.”

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The New York tournament now will be missing both reigning singles champions.

Men’s champ Rafael Nadal of Spain dropped out earlier this month, saying he did not want travel amid the pandemic.

One big name who said Thursday he will be at the U.S. Open and the hard-court tuneup tournament that will precede it at Flushing Meadows: No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

That means one member of the Big Three of men’s tennis will be present; in addition to Nadal’s absence, Roger Federer is out for the rest of the season after two operations on his right knee.

Andreescu tweeted in support of the United States Tennis Association’s decision to go ahead with the U.S. Open without fans in June. The 20-year-old Andreescu, from Mississauga, Ont., hinted she was nearing a return before COVID-19 shuttered the sports world in March. But Andreescu, ranked sixth in the world, didn’t enter any of the four events before the U.S. Open in the sport’s restart in August.

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Andreescu joins world No. 1 Ash Barty of Australia, No. 5 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine and No. 7 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in skipping the U.S. Open, Aug. 31-Sept. 13.  

Steve Carr

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