Reigning champion Bianca Andreescu withdrew from the U.S. Open Thursday, citing "unforeseen challenges" that compromised her ability to prepare for the event.
"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," Andreescu wrote on Instagram. "The U.S. Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there. However, I realize 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."
Andreescu joins Rafael Nadal in skipping the Grand Slam tournament, meaning it will not include both 2019 male and female singles champions. Nadal announced his decision earlier this month, saying it's "a decision I never wanted to take" but he would prefer to avoid traveling right amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Five-time U.S. Open champion Roger Federer will also miss the tournament after knee surgery, while women's No. 1 Ashleigh Barty opted out due to concerns about traveling to New York during the pandemic.
Despite Nadal and Federer missing the tournament, Novak Djokovic announced Thursday he will play at the U.S. Open, nearly two months after he contracted the virus during an exhibition tour he organized in Serbia and Croatia.
Last year, Andreescu swept Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final to win her first Grand Slam title. The 20-year-old suffered a knee injury at the WTA Finals in October 2019, and later missed the Australian Open in January while rehabbing. In June, Andreescu was scheduled to play in the Credit One Bank Invitational in South Carolina, but she withdrew due to travel concerns.