Bianca Andreescu is the latest player to cite mental health concerns as her reason for taking a break from tennis and, as a result, she will skip the 2022 Australian Open next month.
I want to give myself extra time to re-set, recover, and grow from this (as cliche as that sounds) and continue to inspire by doing charity work, giving back and working on myself because I know by doing this, I will come back stronger than ever. Bianca Andreescu
The 2019 US Open champion took to Twitter on Monday to confirm that she will not be playing in the year’s first Grand Slam, posting: “Hi everyone. As you all know, the last two years have been very challenging for me for a variety of reasons.
“Especially this year in particular, I spent multiple weeks in isolation quarantining, which affected me greatly – both mentally and physically.
“In addition, my grandmother spent several weeks in the ICU for a COVID infection, something that really hit me hard.
“A lot of days, I did not feel like myself, especially while I was training and/or playing matches. I felt like I was carrying the world on my shoulders. I could not detach myself from everything that was going on off the court; was feeling the collective sadness and turmoil around and it took its toll on me.
“I want to give myself extra time to re-set, recover, and grow from this (as cliche as that sounds) and continue to inspire by doing charity work, giving back and working on myself because I know by doing this, I will come back stronger than ever.
“I will therefore not start my season in Australia this year, but will take some additional time to reflect, train, and be ready for the upcoming 2022 tennis season.”
The 21-year-old, a former World No 4, defeated Serena Williams in the 2019 US Open final to become the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title.
She suffered a serious knee injury during the WTA Finals in October of that same year, which sidelined her throughout 2020, and then tested positive for COVID-19 in April, earlier this year, forcing her to withdraw from Madrid.
Her ranking has dropped to No 46 and has not played since she fell to Anett Kontaveit at Indian Wells in October.
Former World No 1 Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open in May citing mental health issues after she was fined and threatened with disqualification for refusing to take part in mandatory press conferences, and then took an extended break away from the sport.
She missed Wimbledon before returning briefly for the Tokyo Olympics and to play the tour, but stepped away again following her loss at the US Open in September.