Reigning US Open champion Bianca Andreescu joins Rafa Nadal in pulling out of tournament over 'unforeseen circumstances'

REIGNING US Open champion Bianca Andreescu has joined Rafa Nadal in pulling out of the tournament over "unforeseen circumstances".

The women's champ has joined the 2019 men's winner in pulling out of Flushing Meadows – which begins later this month.

Andreescu, 20, blamed "unforeseen circumstances", with her return from injury hampered by coronavirus.

In a statement posted to social media, the Canadian ace wrote: "I have made the difficult decision not to return to New York this year.

"I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level."

"The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss being there.

"However, I realise that the unforeseen challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at the highest level."

Andreescu famously beat home hero Serena Williams in last year's US Open final to win her first Grand Slam.

But now she joins world No1 Ash Barty, as well as fellow world top ten stars Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens in skipping the event.

World No2 Simona Halep is also expect to miss this year's tournament.

Andreescu's absence means both the men and women's singles will have new champions in 2020 after Nadal announced his withdrawal earlier this month.

Nadal claimed: "After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year’s US Open.

"The situation is very complicated worldwide, the Covid-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it.

"We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after four months stopped with no play, I understand and thank for the efforts they are putting in to make it happen.

"We have just seen the announcement of Madrid not being played this year.

"All my respects to the USTA, the US Open organisers and the ATP for trying to put the event together for the players and the fans around the world through TV.

"This is a decision I never wanted to take but I have decided to follow my heart this time and for the time being I rather not travel."

Roger Federer will also be absent through injury.

But Novak Djokovic announced he would play in his own statement on Thursday.

Djokovic – who tested positive for coronavirus after his doomed Adria Tour – said: "I’m happy to confirm that I will participate at the US Open this year.

“It was not an easy decision to make with all the obstacles and challenges on many sides.

"But the prospect of competing again makes me really excited.

“I’ve done all the check-ups to make sure I am fully recovered and I am ready to get back on court fully committed to playing my best tennis."

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