Canadian tennis star and former Grand Slam women’s singles champion Bianca Andreescu said Monday that she will skip the 2022 Australian Open to focus on her mental health.
Andreescu, 21, said on Twitter that she was in quarantine for many weeks, which affected her “both mentally and physically,” and her grandmother was treated in an intensive care unit battling the coronavirus.
“A lot of days, I did not feel like myself, especially while I was training and/or playing matches,” Andreescu said.
“I felt like I was carrying the world on my shoulders. I could not detach myself from everything that was going on off the court; was feeling the collective sadness and turmoil around and it took its toll on me. I want to give myself extra time to re-set, recover, and grow from this (as cliché as that sounds) and continue to inspire by doing charity work, giving back and working on myself because I know by doing this, I will come back stronger than ever.
“I will therefore not start my season in Australia this year but will take some additional time to reflect, train, and be ready for the upcoming 2022 tennis season,” the 2019 US Open champion added.
The 2022 Australian Open will be the first major tennis tournament of next year, which will be held on Jan. 17-30 in Melbourne.
Following her triumph in the 2019 US Open, Andreescu suffered from a torn meniscus in her knee to miss the 2020 Australian Open. Then in March 2020, the sporting season including tennis was hit by the coronavirus pandemic and remained closed for months to stem the spread of the virus.
Andreescu did not appear in the three 2020 Grand Slams due to her injury and the pandemic, which triggered a 15-month inactive period for her.
One of the four majors, the 2020 Wimbledon Championships was canceled due to the virus.
Andreescu returned to action at the 2021 Australian Open but could not regain her best form.
In October 2019, she was world no. 4 in singles, which was her career high.
She is now ranked 46th in the world.