Bianca Andreescu's coach hopes she will be ready for Indian Wells title defense

Tennis - Bianca hasn't played since the WTA Finals at the end of 2019, sidelined with knee injury

by Jovica Ilic
Bianca Andreescu's coach hopes she will be ready for Indian Wells title defense

World no. 4 and the US Open champion Bianca Andreescu is yet to play the first match in 2020, still dealing with a left knee injury suffered at the last year's WTA Finals. The Mississauga native was one of the players of the season in 2019, starting from outside the top-150 and earning a place in the top-5 following a Major crown and two other notable titles, showing her best tennis against the rivals from the top-10 and in the most important encounters.

Bianca experienced the ultimate tennis glory but also two serious injuries, overcoming the first but staying sidelined with the latter one that has caused a delay of her 2020 campaign. In January 2019, the young Canadian qualified for the main draw at the ASB Classic in Auckland and reached the first WTA final, making the main draw in Melbourne as well for a debut at Majors, scoring one victory before losing to world no.

12 Anastasija Sevastova. Following the 125K crown in Newport Beach, Bianca stunned the tennis world at Indian Wells, earning a massive title as the youngest champion since Serena Williams and hoping for more of the same in Miami.

Facing Anett Kontaveit in the fourth round in Florida, Andreescu suffered a shoulder injury that forced her to skip almost all the action until August, playing just one match at Roland Garros and making a return at home in Toronto, eager to get back on the winning way.

Ready to continue where she left in March, Andreescu defeated three top-10 rivals en route to the trophy, becoming the national hero and gaining momentum ahead of the US Open where she conquered the first Major crown and wrote history as the first teenager with a Grand Slam title since 2006 and Maria Sharapova!

Reducing the schedule after New York to avoid potential injuries, Bianca lost to Naomi Osaka in the quarter-final in Beijing, setting eyes on the WTA Finals in Shenzhen where she made a debut as the youngest player in the draw.

Squandering a massive opportunity against Simona Halep in the first encounter at the premium WTA event, Andreescu had to retire against Karolina Pliskova following a nasty left knee injury, ending the season and withdrawing from the ASB Classic where she was supposed to kick-off 2020.

Unable to get some practice hours, Bianca decided to skip the Australian Open as well, traveling with the Canadian team to the Fed Cup tie against Switzerland in Biel but not playing any rubbers despite being names for the doubles squad when the draw came out.

Still not reaching her 100%, Bianca had to withdraw from Dubai and Doha, working hard on a comeback in Barcelona and hoping to defend the title in the desert in a couple of weeks. Andreescu's coach is confident about her return in Indian Wells, pointing out once again she has to be at her 100% before that long-awaited return, not wanting to risk anything and potentially more injuries.

"Bianca's recovery has been a long one but it's going well, we've had some good momentum recently and things are looking good," Bruneau said "Less than two weeks ahead of Indian Wells, we are hoping she will be ready to play.

Still, we are not taking any risks, sending her back on the court only when she feels 100% ready. We are hoping that will happen in Indian Wells but we still need a couple of days to make a decision. Bianca has to be able to move with no restrictions and fear and believe that everything is going to be fine before that first comeback match.

We should know all that by the next Monday. I think we need to be careful with some other aspects as far as the number of tournaments, monitoring the number of matches she plays and the time she spends on the court. It's going to be a tough decision if she decides not to defend the title; it's not a comfortable situation.

Still, we have to make sure she is at her 100% before returning to the court; that's the only way to avoid further injuries."

Bianca Andreescu Indian Wells Wta Finals