(Reuters) – Canada’s Bianca Andreescu is frustrated with continued setbacks since returning to court at the Australian Open after 15 months due to a knee problem, but the 20-year-old is not willing to let injuries define her fledgling career.
A month after winning her maiden Grand Slam at the 2019 U.S. Open, Andreescu suffered a torn meniscus in her left knee and returned to action only in Melbourne in February.
She exited the year’s first Grand Slam in the second round and followed it up with a semi-final run at a WTA event at Melbourne Park before withdrawing from tournaments in Adelaide, Doha and Dubai with a leg issue.
On Saturday, Andreescu tumbled on the court at 2-0 in the second set in the Miami Open final against world number one Ash Barty to injure her foot, forcing her to make a tearful exit two games later.
“It seems that I’m kind of the only one that keeps getting asked questions about injuries, which is super annoying,” the former world number four told reporters.
“I don’t want, like, for me to have a reputation of that, because it’s not only me that’s getting injured. But, yeah, I mean, it’s happened quite a bit, but I don’t want to define myself through those. It sucks.
“Even if it’s something small, sometimes I’ll be extra cautious, but I’d rather be that than push through it and get it worse, because I have been through both, and today I’m glad that I stopped. It’s hard for me to say that, but I’m glad that I stopped.”
Andreescu battled through four three-setters in a row to reach the final at the WTA 1000 event in Miami and the Canadian was confident of a good show for the rest of the season.
“My body seemed to be good up until today,” said Andreescu, who will climb up three spots to number six in the rankings on Monday.
“No one wants to end a tournament retiring, especially in the finals. But things happen, and I want to look ahead in my career. I’m only 20.”
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by William Mallard