Serena Williams was involved in another tough battle that needed another comeback, in her second match after the long break. For the second straight match, she needed to rally back from a set down to win. This time against her sister Venus Williams. While Serena and Venus battled on the court, the news broke of defending US Open champion Bianca Andreescu pulling out from the event.
The Canadian Andreescu has struggled with her fitness all year and has not even had match practice to get back to her best. It was Serena Williams who Andreescu beat last year in the US Open final to win her maiden Grand Slam title. Williams is confident of a strong comeback from Bianca Andreescu soon enough.
Williams believes that if not injured, the youngster would have played the US Open.
“She’ll come back. She’ll do well when she’s ready. She’s smart enough to play if not injured,” Serena said when informed of Andreescu’s decision, after her match against Venus.
“I haven’t actually talked to her. I just know the secret that I really like her. As a person and as a player I think she’s so mature and so cool,” Serena added when asked if she had been in touch with Andreescu recently.
Earlier, Andreescu cited lack of match fitness as the reason for her withdrawal from the US Open. She had won this event as a 19-year-old last year.
“After many discussions with those closest to me, I have made the difficult decision not to return to New York this year,” Andreescu said in an update on social media. “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 20-year-old added. She said that the COVID-19 pandemic also hampered her ability to play and regain her fitness.
Andreescu has not played on the WTA Tour since October, first due to injury and then due to the pandemic. She has played just two events after the US Open last year. “I realise 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,” her statement added.
Andreescu’s withdrawal from the US Open means that both the defending singles champions won’t play in New York this year. Earlier, Rafael Nadal had also withdrawn from the event.