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Knee injury forces Bianca Andreescu to withdraw from Australian Open

Last Updated Jan 11, 2020 at 10:33 am EDT

Bianca Andreescu of Canada hits a return to Serena Williams of the US during the women's final match on the thirteenth day of the US Open Tennis Championships the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, USA, 07 September 2019. EPA/JASON SZENES

U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu will skip the Australian Open later this month as she continues to recover from a knee injury.

The 19-year-old Mississauga native called it a tough decision especially since she enjoys playing in Melbourne.

Andreescu was named Canada’s female athlete of the year following an unforgettable 2019 campaign that saw her score her breakthrough victory at Indian Wells followed by the Rogers Cup singles title – a first by a Canadian in 50 years – and then the history-making win at the U.S. Open a few weeks later.

Ranked sixth in the world after starting 2019 outside the top 150, Andreescu has been bothered by injuries while making her climb.

A shoulder injury last March kept her out of all but one match from April through July.

Andreescu retired after one match at last year’s French Open and didn’t play at Wimbledon in 2019.

Andreescu’s decision leaves Canada without a woman in the Australian Open’s main draw.

Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que., and Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, Que., are entered in qualifying next week.

Canada has four players in the men’s main draw – Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., and Vancouver’s Vasek Pospsil.

Tournament officials said on Twitter that Richard Gasquet had withdrawn with a knee injury while Juan Martin del Potro was also recovering from a knee ailment.

The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the season, starts Jan. 20.