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Andreescu to miss Australian Open as she focuses on mental health

By Peter Thompson

Melbourne, December 7: Bianca Andreescu will miss the 2022 Australian Open to focus on her mental health after suffering a "very challenging" couple of years.

Andreescu has struggled with physical and mental concerns since winning the US Open two years ago.

The 21-year-old has felt the strain even more this year, with her grandmother in intensive care after contracting COVID-19, Andreescu also testing positive and spending significant time in isolation.

The former world number four has decided to skip the first grand slam next year as she takes extra time out to "reset, recover and grow", but vowed to return "stronger than ever."

The Canadian tweeted: "As you all know, the past 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 due to 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 it and it took its toll on me.

"I want to give myself extra time to reset, recover and grow from this (as cliche [sic] 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 season."

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Story first published: Tuesday, December 7, 2021, 0:00 [IST]
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