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Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu is seen with the U.S. Open women's singles championship trophy at Top of the Rock in New York Sept. 8, 2019. She will not defend her title this year at the U.S. Open.

The Associated Press

Bianca Andreescu will not defend her title at the U.S. Open after opting out of the Grand Slam later this summer in New York.

The Canadian made the announcement on Thursday.

Andreescu hasn’t played a match since suffering a knee injury last October.

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Andreescu says she has to focus on her match fitness to ensure she can play at her highest level upon her return. She says the COVID-19 pandemic has compromised her ability to prepare.

While she tweeted in support of the United States Tennis Association’s decision to go ahead with the U.S. Open in June, Andreescu pulled out two months later.

The 20-year-old Andreescu, from Mississauga, Ont., hinted she was nearing a return before COVID-19 shuttered the sports world in March. But Andreescu, ranked sixth in the world, didn’t enter any of the four events before the U.S. Open in the sport’s restart in August.

Andreescu joins world No. 1 Ash Barty of Australia, No. 5 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine and No. 7 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in skipping the U.S. Open, Aug. 31-Sept. 13.

No fans will be in attendance at the tournament.

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