Last year’s US Open women’s singles champion Bianca Andreescu of Canada will not be defending her title in Flushing Meadows, the world No. 6 confirmed on Thursday.
“After many discussions with those closest to me, I have made the difficult decision not to return to New York this year,” Andreescu said in a statement posted on social media. “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.”
A year ago at age 19, Andreescu beat Serena Williams of the United States in the final to win the title in New York. She was also the first tennis player from Canada to claim a Grand Slam singles trophy.
“The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there,” Andreescu continued. “However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.
“I want to express my appreciation to the USTA and the WTA for all of their efforts in making the event happen. I look forward to joining my competitors back on court soon,” she added.
Andreescu joins world No. 1 Ash Barty of Australia on the list of players who have announced their withdrawal from the US Open, along with No. 5 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine and No. 7 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.
With the absence of defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal, it will mark the first time since 2003 that both the defending men’s and women’s defending champions will not be in a U.S. Open field. That year, Pete Sampras did not play because he retired and Serena Williams could not play due to a knee injury.