Former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu withdraws from Flushing Meadows

Although fans were eagerly anticipating Bianca Andreescu’s return to the US Open, they will be disappointed to learn that the 2019 champion has been forced to withdraw due to an unexpected injury.

Andreescu has been battling back pain during recent tournaments, including the Citi Open and the National Bank Open. Her withdrawal means that her scheduled first-round match against Lesia Tsurenko will no longer take place. As fans await the replacement player, they reflect on Andreescu’s historic victory at the 2019 US Open and the missed opportunity this year.

Photo by Icon sport

Injury forced Andreescu’s hand

The Canadian pulled the plug on her dreams of playing at the hallowed grounds. Her withdrawal from the US Open was a result of an unexpected injury that forced her to step away from the tournament. The injury occurred during her first-round loss to Marta Kostyuk at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. in July.

Initially experiencing back pain, specifically SI joint pain, Andreescu’s condition worsened during her first-round loss to Camila Giorgi at the National Bank Open in Montreal. Consequently, she had to withdraw from the WTA 1000 event in Cincinnati the following week. Although the pain briefly improved, it resurfaced when she resumed playing and caused irritation during practice before the US Open.

As a result, Andreescu was unable to compete in her scheduled first-round match against Lesia Tsurenko, leaving tournament officials to determine a replacement from the final qualifying round.

“Last week during my match in Washington, I experienced some back pain. Some SI joint pain, to be exact. I’ve had this before. I’ve had to deal with it many times, actually,” Andreescu said in her Canadian Open press conference.

“Yeah, it got better for a few days, and then, you know, I started playing again, and then obviously I felt some irritation, but I saw some light at the end of the tunnel. But with SI joint pain, it’s very difficult because it’s nothing very serious, but if you do push, you do feel a lot of pain. That’s what I experienced one of the days practicing before the tournament,” she added.

Bianca Andreescu
Photo by Icon sport

Absentee list of active US Open champions increases

Tournament officials announced Andreescu’s withdrawal on Twitter, stating that a qualifier or lucky loser would take her place. Andreescu’s absence will certainly have an impact on the tournament, as she was the 2019 US Open champion and made history as Canada’s first-ever Grand Slam singles champion.

Her withdrawal will mean that winners of four of the last five editions will not be present at Flushing Meadows in 2023. Naomi Osaka, champion in 2018 and 2020, has been away from the court after the birth of her daughter.

However, it is the 2021 champion, Emma Raducanu with whom Andreescu has more in common. The British-Canadian born to Romanian parents has been battling injury demons of her own and has also missed the previous two Grand Slams at Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

Andreescu’s win was a testament to her incredible skills and mental strength, and she will need more of the same to make her comeback. During her winning run, She showcased her ability to handle pressure, defeating top players like Caroline Wozniacki, Belinda Bencic, and Elise Mertens on her way to the final.

In the thrilling two-set encounter against Serena Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, Andreescu’s coolness under pressure and clever shots helped her secure a 6-3, 7-5 victory. If she is to emulate her success again, the Canadian will have to delve into the resilience that gave her the title.

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About the author

Owais Khan

Profiling the beautiful game for over a decade, Owais is a business analyst turned sports writer. He has covered football in the maidans of Pakistan and has transitioned to watching 1860 Munich in 3. Liga.