Monday, April 15, 2024
HometennisBianca Andreescu targets Paris Olympics but rules out Australian Open

Bianca Andreescu targets Paris Olympics but rules out Australian Open

MONTREAL – Bianca Andreescu said on Dec 14 that she hopes to represent Canada at the 2024 Paris Olympics but has ruled out playing at the Australian Open in January as she continues her recovery from a back injury.

The 2019 US Open champion has been sidelined by a stress fracture in her back and has not played since losing to Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi in her opening match of the Canadian Open in August.

The 23-year-old said that progress in her recovery had been steady but slow and she has yet to even pick up a racket, pushing her expected return to action back to March or April.

“No, sadly I won’t be at the Australian Open,” Andreescu confirmed during the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Paris media summit on Dec 14.

“Right now I’m looking at (returning) after the Australia Open or the American tour, so Indian Wells… maybe.

“We’re very close but right now I am still dealing with my back injury. It is getting better every single day and I am doing everything I can to get there as fast as possible but these things take time.

“I’m feeling very confident for 2024.”

Whether she can work her way back to full fitness and earn a spot on the Canadian team for Paris is a big question.

Her world ranking has dropped to No. 96 and is set to fall further as she remains sidelined, while she could only watch as Leylah Fernandez and Marina Stakusic led the Canadians to a first Billie Jean King Cup triumph in November.

“I do miss playing and seeing the girls win the Billie Jean Cup too… I really wish I was there. Injuries just suck,” added Andreescu, who has seen her career stalled by a number of injuries.

“Super sad I couldn’t be there because it is also my dream to win that tournament too.

“It just sucks I have been through so many injuries. With all the injuries I’ve had you think I would have figured it out.”

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Separately, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has named Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka as its “world champions” of 2023 after their performances at this season’s Grand Slams.

Djokovic was given the men’s singles award for a record-extending eighth time after winning three out of the four Majors, the game’s global governing body said in a statement.

The 36-year-old Serb took his Grand Slam tally to 24, matching Margaret Court with the most singles crowns, and won the ATP Finals title for a record seventh time, finishing the year as No. 1.

Sabalenka won her maiden Grand Slam at the Australian Open, finished runner-up at the US Open and reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and Wimbledon.

The Belarusian, who was pipped to the year-end top spot by Iga Swiatek at the WTA Finals, said 2023 had been “incredible” and was delighted to be named world champion.

“I can’t wait to get back out on court for the new season in January,” she said in the ITF statement. REUTERS, AFP

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