Bianca Andreescu has delighted fans after announcing she’s on track to return to tennis at the Australian Open.
The 20-year-old Canadian, who beat Serena Williams in the final to win the 2019 US Open, was forced to sit out the entire 2020 season with a knee injury.
She last played at the WTA Finals in October 2019 and left fans gutted recently when she announced she won’t play again this year.
However Andreescu provided fans some welcome news on Thursday by confirming she’s fully recovered and intends to play at Melbourne Park in January.
“I'm doing really well,” Andreescu told the Tennis Majors website.
“The virus kind of pushed me back, and some little personal things here and there, but right now I'm good, I’m training hard ... I'm really looking forward to 2021.
“I'm perfectly healthy. I just really wanted to take time to build everything in my life, and I think this time off really helped me do that.”
The World No.7 said she will be “100%” in Melbourne to play the year’s first grand slam.
“I wouldn't say I am ready tomorrow to play a match because I am taking it step by step, but maybe in a couple of weeks I will be good,” she added.
“I don’t want to rush anything but I’m feeling good.”
Fans flocked to social media to celebrate the news.
— Peter Robinson (@probin5756) November 3, 2020
Soooooo happy to hear this!!! 😃
— Colleen Arndt (@ColleenArndt) November 4, 2020
Can’t wait to see our Bianca back!
— Peter Jackson (@pjofyork) November 3, 2020
I miss Bianca and I believe she is the best young female player in the world. She had a sensational 2019 winning the US OPEN but also winning Indian Wells and Rogers Cup. Next year, I hope Bianca can settle in and get into a groove again.
— OrvilleLloydDouglas🇨🇦🏳️🌈 (@OrvilleLloyd) November 4, 2020
— Big_Smoke_YXE (@big_yxe) November 3, 2020
Tennis Australia to make call on summer schedule
Tennis Australia will decide next week whether it can stage the ATP Cup and other tournaments around the country or confine them to one city in the lead-up to the Australian Open in January.
The inaugural ATP Cup was held in Perth, Sydney and Brisbane in January but TA is considering holding the whole event in Melbourne depending on government restrictions related to Covid-19.
“Players will come in the middle of December and it will be two weeks (of quarantine) before the summer, and then they’ll have four-five weeks of being able to play tennis at Melbourne if it’s all the events,” TA boss Craig Tiley told Fairfax media.
“If not it will be events in other cities and then the Australian Open.”
Organisers of Australian Open warmup tournaments in Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra have said they are still planning for their tournaments to go ahead as scheduled.
“We're doing everything we can to do that ― we’re working with government, we're working with SA Health,” Adelaide International tournament director Alistair MacDonald said on Thursday.
Tiley said TA had requested players be allowed to compete at tournaments while undertaking mandatory 14-day quarantine after arriving in Australia but the governing body had not yet received approval from authorities.
“The objectives will be to protect the community, so the players while they’re training will only go from their hotel room to the courts, and then back to the hotel room in a secure protected environment,” he said.
“There will obviously be significant testing in that bubble. Our objective will be to make it the safest and securest bubble anywhere in the world.”
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