US Open 2020: Bianca Andreescu will not defend title after withdrawing from tournament

Bianca Andreescu will not defend her US Open title after becoming the latest tennis star to pull out of the event.

The 20-year-old Canadian beat Serena Williams in straight sets in last year’s final at Flushing Meadows, earning her maiden grand slam triumph. But she will not be back this year, suggesting she wants focus on reaching her best form after lockdown.

“After many discussions with those closest to me, I have made the difficult decision not to return to New York this year. The U.S. Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there. However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.”

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Andreescu is the latest top-10 player on the women’s side to skip the event, joining world No1 Ashleigh Barty, Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, and the Netherlands’ Kiki Bertens.

The men’s reigning champion Rafael Nadal has also withdrawn, citing fears over the coronavirus, while his rival Novak Djokovic announced earlier on Thursday that he will take part despite voicing serious doubts.

The US Open is set to take place between 31 August and 13 September.

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