Canada’s Bianca Andreescu has opted out of the 2020 French Open and decided to end her season early in order to focus on her “health and training”. The 2019 US Open champion hadn’t played a single match this season as she looked to recover from an injured knee.
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Andreescu announced her decision to join two other Grand Slam winners, Naomi Osaka and Ash Barty in withdrawing from Roland-Garros as she nurses her fitness problems.
The 20-year-old, who had played just one match in 2019, and that came at the French Open, before she pulled out of her second round encounter against Sofia Kenin because of a shoulder injury, went on to win the US Open in spectacular style last year.
That, however, was the peak of her success last season which had already seen her lift the titles at the Newport Beach Open, Indian Wells and Canadian Open.
Andreescu said in her announcement:
“I have come to the difficult decision to skip the clay court swing this year and will be taking the remainder of the season off to focus on my health and training.”
“As hard as it was to come to this conclusion, I have so much to look forward to in 2021, including the Olympics; I want to use this time to focus on my game so I can come back stronger and better than ever.”
The Canadian’s record on clay has been less than ordinary though. After winning a title on the ITF circuit in 2017, she failed to qualify for the 2018 French Open and struggled through to a three-set win over Marie Bouzkova in the first round at Roland-Garros last season.
With almost next to nothing practice because of the pandemic, it would have been a telling factor in her decision to withdraw from the rest of this curtailed season in a bid to come back stronger and fitter.
Meanwhile the French Open qualifiers got underway on Monday with Ann Li leading some of the seeded players into the second round. She defeated Indy de Vroome in her first qualifier, Marta Kostyuk edged out Isabella Shinikova, Tereza Martincova came through against Valeria Savinykh and Britain’s Harriet Dart defeated Mihaela Buzarnescu.
Some of the other winners included Elisabetta Cocciaretto, Nadia Podoroska, Francesca Di Lorenzo, Vera Zvonareva and Monica Niculescu. In an upset, Lesia Tsurenko, who had made the fourth round of the French Open in 2018, fell to Çağla Büyükakçay of Turkey.