Britain’s No 1 Johanna Konta and Canada’s Bianca Andreescu have pulled out of the Qatar Open next week due to on-going knee issues.
I’m not at 100 % yet, and following my team and doctor’s recommendation I don’t want to take any risk to re-injure my knee. Each day I get closer to being back to the court competing, but Doha is just too soon. Hope I can come and play in Doha next year. Bianca Andreescu
Konta, who was hoping to continue her run to World No 14, curtailed by the injury last year that forced her to end her season early, has had an inauspicious start to 2020, losing her opening matches at the Brisbane International, the Australian Open and the St Petersburg Open.
Andreescu, the US Open champion who will rise to a career-high No 4 in the WTA Rankings next week through other player performances, has not set foot on a match court since the WTA Finals in October last year due to her knee injury.
She has already missed the Australian Open, the Fed Cup Qualifiers and this week’s WTA Premier event in Dubai.
Now she will also be sidelined for the Qatar Open as her knee is still not 100%.
“I’m very sad to announce that I won’t be able to compete in the Qatar Total Open in Doha next week,” Andreescu said in a statement. “I’m not at 100 % yet, and following my team and doctor’s recommendation I don’t want to take any risk to re-injure my knee.
“Each day I get closer to being back to the court competing, but Doha is just too soon. Hope I can come and play in Doha next year.”
Her next scheduled tournament is the Indian Wells Masters, which runs from 9-16 March in California, where she is the defending champion.
USA’s Danielle Collins, ranked 50th, will also not feature in Doha due to an abdominal injury.
The Qatar Total Open 2020 will feature 7 of the World top-10 players, who are set to strut their stuff at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex from 23-29 February.
These latest withdrawals moves USA’s Jennifer Brady, Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia, and Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova into the main draw.
Tournament Director Saad al-Mohannadi said: “Though we would have loved to see Andreescu and the rest of the stars play at this year’s tournament, we, however, understand that their health is more important at this moment.
“We wish them a speedy recovery and also wish them the best as we look forward to welcoming them to Doha in the future.”