Andreescu withdraws from Dubai with knee injury

andrew hendrie:

Bianca Andreescu has once again delayed her 2020 season, withdrawing from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships next week as she continues to battle a knee injury.

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Just days after former U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters confirmed she would be launching her comeback in Dubai, reigning U.S. Open winner Andreescu announced she would be forced to miss the tournament, saying her right knee still hasn’t recovered enough for competitive tournaments.

“I’m very sad to announce that I won’t be able to compete in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships next week,” Andreescu said in a statement.

“I’m not at 100 percent yet and following my team and doctor’s recommendation, I don’t want to take any risk on my knee. Each day I get closer to being back to the court competing, but Dubai is just too soon.”

Andreescu has already been sidelined through Auckland, the Australian Open and last weekend’s Fed Cup qualifiers, where Canada went down to Switzerland.

The 19-year-old has been practicing with a big brace around her troublesome right knee, but isn’t ready to test it out in competition – despite making the trip to Switzerland for Fed Cup.

It’s another setback for the Canadian sensation, who lit up the 2019 season with some extraordinary tennis that saw her climb from outside the top 150 and into the top five, winning big titles at the U.S. Open, Indian Wells and Rogers Cup.

Andreescu hasn’t played since retiring from the WTA Finals in Shenzhen against Karolina Pliskova in October last year.

The 19-year-old will be hoping to be fit in time for her Indian Wells title defence, with the first Premier Mandatory tournament of the season beginning on March 9.

Despite the withdrawal of Andreescu and World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, the 20th anniversary of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships promises to be a big spectacle, with six of the world’s top 10 gathering in the Gulf, including Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina, Petra Kvitova and reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin – along with returning former No. 1 Clijsters.