Defending champion Andreescu latest player to withdraw from US Open

Defending champion Bianca Andreescu is the latest player to withdraw from this year's US Open in a major blow to the WTA field ahead of proceedings starting on 31 August.

Andreescu won the US Open last year in brilliant fashion defeating Serena Williams in straight sets after emerging onto the scene prior to this with victories at Indian Wells and the Rogers Cup; but joins the likes of Ashleigh Barty, Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens in the top ten to already withdraw.

There were doubts already about her involvement with the lack of entry to the Western & Southern Open; which is happening the week prior in the same bubble.

There are further questions about top players including World No.2 Simona Halep being involved as well; this means the WTA field could be further depleted by the time Flushing Meadows comes around.

This is even more so now that Andreescu joins fellow defending champion Rafael Nadal in withdrawing; meaning that at the moment only the doubles champions remain to defend at this year's US Open.

"I have taken this step in order to focus on match fitness" - Andreescu

The 20-year-old Canadian released the following statement on her Twitter citing 'match fitness' as a main reason; after a long lay-off since the WTA Finals with a knee injury.

"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 has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there. However I realise that the unforeseen challenges including the COVID pandemic; have comprimised 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."

With withdrawals this means that, World No.42 Kristina Mladenovic is now seeded at this year's US Open; Fiona Ferro who won the first tournament back at Palermo last week has also withdrawn today.

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