WATCH: Andreescu spoke with the media after her second-round victory at the BNP Paribas Open this fall.

Bianca Andreescu announced she will miss the start of the 2022 season, including the Australian Open, in an emotional statement posted to social media on Monday.

The 21-year-old has struggled with injuries and the ill effects of the COVID-19 pandemic since winning her maiden major title at the 2019 US Open, contracting the virus last spring after reaching the Miami Open final.

Andreescu also cited the emotional toll of her own grandmother’s COVID-19 struggle, one that sent her to the hospital for several weeks.

“A lot of days, I did not feel like myself,” she writes, “especially while I was training and/or playing matches. I felt like I was carrying the world on my shoulders. I could not detach myself from everything that was going on off the court; was feeling the collective sadness and turmoil around and it took its toll on me.”


Returning to action for Roland Garros, Andreescu bowed out in the opening round after holding a match point against eventual semifinalist Tamara Zidansek, and later split with longtime coach Sylvain Bruneau. An unsatisfying summer saw her add Sven Groeneveld to her team but make early exits in both Montréal and New York as defending champion. Her last match of the season came at the BNP Paribas Open, where she fell to Anett Kontaveit in the third round. She later announced the upcoming release of a first children's book based on her life.

“I want to give myself extra time to re-set, recover, and grow from this (as cliché as that sounds) and continue to inspire by doing charity work, giving back and working on myself because I know by doing this, I will come back stronger than ever. I will therefore not start my season in Australia this year, but will take some additional time to reflect, train, and be ready for the upcoming 2022 tennis season.”

Andreescu, who would have been subject to Australia’s strict vaccine mandate should she have chosen to play the first major of 2022, cited no specific timeframe for her return. The Canadian is the latest elite athlete to open up about mental health struggles—following the lead of major and Olympic champions like Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles, and Iga Swiatek.