Reigning US Open champion Bianca Andreescu has withdrawn from this week's Credit One Bank Invitational in Charleston, S.C.
Bianca Andreescu pulls out of the Charleston exhibition event
Andreescu has been replaced in the draw by Caroline Dolehide of the United States.
The event includes reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, former U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, 2016 Olympic gold medallist Monica Puig and Canadians Leylah Fernandez and Eugenie Bouchard among others.
16 players are being divided into two teams with Americans Madison Keys and Bethanie Mattek-Sands serving as captains. According to CBC Sports, the Octagon agency, which represents Andreescu, said in an emailed statement. "After carefully deliberating with her team, Bianca decided that playing the exhibition was a bit premature, and that she'd spend this time continuing to focus her efforts on training at home with her team to prepare for the full return to play."
Andreescu has not played since October due to a knee injury. She is currently ranked No. 6 in the world. Due to the injury, Andreescu has to withdraw from the Australian Open in January, Canada's Fed Cup tie in Switzerland in Feburary and the WTA event in Dubai before the tennis circuit was shut down due to the global pandemic.
The tennis world has been rocked by the announcement that World No. 1 Novak Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19, along with other players - Croatia's Borna Coric, Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and Viktor Troicki, who all took part in the Adria Tour exhibition tournament in the Balkan region.
A few days ago, Andreescu said she was looking forward to playing the US Open in New York in August. "I actually didn't think tennis would come back so soon just because it's such an international sport but, honestly, I'm just super happy to go back there and hopefully defend my title.
I know everyone involved is going to do their best to keep everyone as safe as possible. Just looking at all the other sports, I think it's time for tennis to come back. Playing in front of the crowd just brings the hype into everything.
I would say I perform really good under pressure so I felt the crowd gave me a push. There will definitely be people watching at home so it would be good to keep that in the back of our minds." Bianca Andreescu has a career-high ranking of No.
4 in the world, and is the highest-ranked Canadian in the history of the WTA rankings. She is the first Canadian tennis player to win a Grand Slam singles title and the first player to win a Grand Slam singles title as a teenager since Maria Sharapova in 2006.