Bianca Andreescu Withdraws Before Strasbourg Quarterfinals, But Hopeful for French Open Return

Bianca Andreescu in action ahead of the WTA Miami Open.
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Bianca Andreescu has withdrawn from her upcoming quarterfinal at the WTA Internationaux de Strasbourg due to an abdominal injury. Andreescu had picked up the second successive win of her clay-court campaign with a straightforward victory over qualifier Maryna Zanevska on Tuesday.

However, Andreescu admitted during the post-match press conference she had felt discomfort on her side. She referred to the injury as an abdominal tear, but explained the decision was precautionary with Roland Garros just a few days away.

Andreescu said,“I will be pulling out of my next match because I did feel a little bit of an ab tear, just a little bit and I don’t want to push it at all for the French Open, I don’t want to take any risks so I have to pull out. Nothing serious though.”

The 20-year-old Canadian was playing in her first tournament since reaching the Miami Open final. She has seen her career blighted by a series of injuries in the recent past. Andreescu’s progress has been stop-start in this early part of the season.

Bianca Andreescu in 2020-21

She retired in the aforementioned Miami final when trailing Ashleigh Barty 6-4 4-0 because of a foot injury. And her clay-court season began in the worst possible manner after testing positive for coronavirus on arrival in Spain for the Mutua Madrid Open.

She sat out both WTA 1000 events in Madrid and Rome to observe quarantine measures and recover in time for the second Grand Slam of the year. The 2019 US Open champion has won 11 matches this year in just four tournaments. She did not play a single match during the entire 2020 season due to a knee injury.

Andreescu’s last appearance at the French Open was in 2019, where she reached the second round before pulling out with an injury.

This is the second high-profile abdominal injury that a player has suffered in 2021. Novak Djokovic endured a similar problem during the Australian Open in his five-set win over American Taylor Fritz. Although Djokovic did not disclose the nature of the damage, he played through the entire tournament and won his 9th title in Melbourne.

Can Andreescu pull off a miraculous recovery in time for the French Open? Or is time running out for the crafty Canadian to force her way into Grand Slam reckoning?

Main Photo from Getty.