As we await the main singles draw at the Mutua Madrid Open 2021, news has broken that Bianca Andreescu has been forced to withdraw from the WTA100 tournament in Spain after testing positive for COVID-19.
I am feeling good, I am resting, and continuing to follow the health protocols and safety guidelines. I look forward to getting back on the court very soon." Bianca Andreescu
The Canadian announced in a post on her Twitter feed that she had tested negative twice before travelling to Madrid, but found out she tested positive upon her arrival.
“I am feeling good, I am resting, and continuing to follow the health protocols and safety guidelines,” Andreescu wrote in the post. “I look forward to getting back on the court very soon.”
It was yet another setback for the 2019 US Open champion, who returned to action earlier this year after a 16-month layoff due to a knee injury she suffered late in 2019.
Andreescu suffered a foot injury at the Miami Open, forcing her to retire in the final, and had been due to return to competition at in Madrid.
The WTA1000 event is returning to the circuit this year, after being cancelled due to COVID-19 in 2020.
Kiki Bertens will hope to defend the title she claimed in 2019 when the main draw starts on Thursday 29 April.
The Dutchwoman also triumphed in the Virtual Madrid Open competition last year, where players competed on a PlayStation game.
In happier news, Carla Suárez Navarro provided one of the happiest images of Monday when the Canary Islander, who recently announced that she has overcome the Hodgkin’s lymphoma she was diagnosed with last August, visited the Caja Mágica to complete her first training session in the Spanish capital.
The former World No 6 completed a practice session in Stadium 3 with Russian player Daria Kasatkina.
“I’m very grateful to the tournament for this opportunity,” she said. “Being in the Caja Mágica during these days and being able to train at a high level really helps my preparations to return to competition.
“I’ve been able to meet up with some of my peers again after a long time, to feel the atmosphere on the tour that I miss so much, and to experience the competition bubble first hand.”
A fan favourite, Suárez Navarro has a notable record at the Mutua Madrid Open, where she has scored 3 impressive victories over top-10 players, twice reaching the quarter-finals, in 2015 and 2018, and playing in two doubles finals, in 2014 and 2015, with Garbiñe Muguruza.
“I’m sure this year will be different for everyone,” added Suárez Navarro. “The tournament has made a huge effort to organise the event again with very high safety standards. The courts are perfect and I hope we enjoy a great show.”
The big names have been warming up in the Manolo Santana Stadium as they fine tune their game ahead of this edition of the Mutua Madrid Open.
Naomi Osaka, Muguruza, Bertens, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova were just some of the first players to arrive in Madrid for the second WTA 1000 of the season.
Osaka comes to the Caja Mágica having won her 4th Grand Slam in Australia. The Japanese player landed in Madrid with very high expectations as she bids to don the Mutua Madrid Open crown for the first time.
Muguruza is also hoping for her first title in Madrid and is getting a feel of the red clay. The Spaniard’s confidence is sky-high oafter a spectacular start to the 2021 season, in which she has racked up 23 wins,.
The defending champion, Bertens, has also had a taste of the red stuff. After a hesitant start to the year due to injury, the Dutchwoman is hoping to turn around her fortunes here.
Another of the WTA stars who already knows what it is to triumph in the Spanish capital is Simona Halep.
The two-time Mutua Madrid Open champion frequently cites the Mutua Madrid Open as one of her favourite tournaments, and has a chance to equal Petra Kvitova’s record of 3 titles here.
On a day that the Manolo Santana Stadium was replete with big names, Czech player Karolina Pliskova also tested out the court. The ex-world No 1 comes to Madrid after a mercurial start to the year intent on rediscovering the form that took her to the pinnacle of the WTA ranking.