There will be two new singles champions at the US Open, as 2019 women's champ Bianca Andreescu has joined last year's men's champ, Rafael Nadal, in withdrawing from the tournament due to coronavirus concerns.
The 20-year-old Canadian also cited a lack of match fitness in her announcement on Instagram:
Dear fans, After many discussions with those closest to me, I have made the difficult decision not to return to New York this year. 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. The US 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 Covid 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. B
Andreescu's decision is notable in that she is based in North America, rather than overseas—theoretically allowing for safer travel to New York City. Of course, she would still have to cross the Canadian border and then either return to her home country, or travel to Europe for a truncated clay-court swing.
In June, Andreescu was scheduled to compete in the Credit One Bank Invitational, in Charleston, S.C., but withdrew as the event neared due to potential travel issues. It was not made clear if Andreescu would play any tournaments after the US Open; she has not played a tour-level match since the 2019 WTA Finals, due to a lingering knee injury.
The announcement from the WTA No. 6 means that four of the WTA's Top 7, including world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, No. 5 Elina Svitolina and No. 7 Kiki Bertens, won't compete in Flushing Meadows. Earlier on Thursday, ATP No. 1 Novak Djokovic said that he would compete in the US Open, a tournament that will be missing No. 2 Nadal and No. 4 Roger Federer.
I asked @serenawilliams about @Bandreescu_, who pulled out of the @usopen during her match against Venus.— Ed McGrogan (@EdMcGrogan) August 13, 2020
“It’s no secret that I really like her as a person and as a player—she’s so mature and so cool. She’ll come back, she’ll do well when she’s ready.” pic.twitter.com/JNNIvypeog