'19 US Open champ Andreescu withdraws; pandemic limited prep

Reigning U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu pulled out of the Grand Slam tournament Thursday, saying the coronavirus pandemic prevented her from properly preparing for competition.

Andreescu joins 2019 men’s champion Rafael Nadal in skipping the U.S. Open.

A year ago at age 19, Andreescu became the first woman in the professional era to win the championship in New York in her tournament debut.

The No. 6-ranked Andreescu wrote on Instagram that “unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.”

She is the fourth woman in the top seven in the rankings to pull out of the U.S. Open, which is scheduled to start in New York on Aug. 31. The others are No. 1 Ash Barty, No. 5 Elina Svitolina and No. 7 Kiki Bertens.

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