Defending Indian Wells Open champion and US Open winner Bianca Andreescu has opted out of the competition this season. The Canadian number one is still struggling to recover from her knee injury.
19-year-old Andreescu hasn’t played a single match since the year-ending WTA Finals, had won the Indian Wells Open title last year by beating Angelique Kerber in the final.
Andreescu’s left knee injury came at the WTA Finals Shenzhen which forced her to withdraw from the tournament but that also meant she wasn’t able to return to tennis this year either. She missed the pre-season tennis, following which Andreescu had to withdraw from the Australian Open as well.
In a media release, Andreescu said she was still been working through her foot injury and expressed her disappointment at not getting an opportunity to defend her title.
“While I am disappointed that I am not competing next week in a tournament where I have such great memories, I am focused on my recovery and rehab and working hard to get back on the court as soon as possible.”
The Indian Wells Open was her second title of 2019, having earlier won the Newport Beach Open earlier in the year.
She went on to clinch the Toronto Open when Serena Williams retired from the final, and then added the US Open title to her kitty with a straight-set victory over Williams in the title-decider.
Andreescu becomes the third high-profile women’s player to withdraw from the Indian Wells Open singles draw after Simona Halep and Kerber. This means both the finalists from the previous year are now out of the competition, following Kerber’s withdrawal who had pushed Andreescu to three sets before losing the Indian Wells Open 2019 final.