"See you all at the Australian Open," Canadian's Bianca Andreescu smilingly said as she opted to withdraw from the Grampians Trophy warm-up in Melbourne. It was her choice to concentrate on practicing for the first Slam of the year as her team confirmed the decision.
Fans and the tennis community are used to Miss Andreescu's bowing out at events and tournaments professing her unreadiness at competitive play. But many are giving the young Canadian a 'side eye' now as to whether she will be at the big Melbourne slam after all.
Andreescu has been through a lot in the last year or so and she wants to take her time and make a good showing her on returning to court. She's picked up trophies at Indian Wells, her home country Toronto's Rogers Cup and won the 2019 US Open title away from Serena Williams.
But she hasn't been without injuries as she sustained a bad knee at the 2019 WTA Finals bowing to Karolina Pliskova. This extended her absence from the courts as she tried to rehab and be ready for upcoming events. Then it was an agonizing shoulder injury at the Miami Open causing her retirement from match play against Anett Kontaveit.
"I tried to get as much treatment as I can," she explained to the media but her condition required more than an on court medical timeout. The bubbly Canadian woman had the misfortune of not only being absent because of injuries but then the Pandemic hit and it was an impossible feat to return on court, leaving her apprehensive as to her body conditions and the virus swirling nationwide.
Everyone pushed through to make the New York events: The Cincinnati Masters and the U.S. Open. It proved impossible to defend her title taking a huge chance against the ever present coronavirus. "..The foreseen challenges, including the COVID Pandemic has compromised my ability to prepare..."
the former U.S. Open champ sadly said.
It appeared sitting out the season was a better choice under harsh conditions
The Canadian woman gave it her vow to make the first Slam of the season but her coach Sylvain Bruneau had tested positive for the virus on the way to Australia.
Unfortunately the entire flight of tennis passengers had to have a 14-day strict lockdown with isolation in their hotel rooms. Tennis Australia organizers scrambled to keep everyone safe and devise tournaments for them to have a wrm up event as well as their comrades in Adelaide.
They had an advantage of being permitted to have sufficient practice and gym times outside of their hotel accommodations. Conditions were strained and Bianca Andreescu decided to regroup and bag out of the Grampians Trophy warm-up where fans had high hopes on seeing the spirited player perform.
"Following the last two weeks in quarantine, it feels so good to finally be back..." Andreescu beamed. It was a short-lived idea but she is holding to her promise on being at the Australian Open this time for sure.
It will be more time to rest and to practice her unconventional strokes and strategies. Can she do it again and be successful as in the past? After over a year, everyone including Bianca Andreescu hopes so.