Australian Open 2021: 'Zero' fitness worries for Bianca Andreesecu as comeback ends

Andreescu was set to make her comeback as top seed in the warm-up Grampians Trophy, but pulled out as a precautionary measure after spending 14 days in hard lockdown after arriving in Australia.

Agence France-Presse February 10, 2021 11:19:10 IST
Australian Open 2021: 'Zero' fitness worries for Bianca Andreesecu as comeback ends

Bianca Andreescu played her first tournament since October 2019 at the Australian Open. AP

Melbourne: Former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu was confident that her injury woes were behind her after the Canadian's emotional comeback ended in defeat against Hsieh Su-wei at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

The eighth seed, in her tournament return after 15 months on the sidelines with a knee injury, was upset by the veteran Taiwanese 6-3, 6-2 in one hour 23 minutes in the second round.

She had not played a competitive match ahead of the Australian Open since suffering a left knee injury at the WTA Finals in October 2019, halting her rapid rise after beating Serena Williams in the final at Flushing Meadows that year.

"I have zero worries about my health," Andreescu, 20, said.

"I'm going to continue doing what I've been doing because obviously it's working.

"But if I'm healthy I'm going to be playing. Obviously I want to be careful, but I will be playing."

Andreescu was set to make her comeback as top seed in the warm-up Grampians Trophy, but pulled out as a precautionary measure after spending 14 days in hard lockdown after arriving in Australia.

A weary Andreescu, who appeared sluggish amid stifling conditions on Rod Laver Arena, said adapting to the warmer weather was difficult.

"Being in the heart of quarantine, I could have had those extra two weeks being in the heat and getting used to sweating ... to everything again," she said.

"I'm just going to take this as a learning curve and bounce back for the next tournament.

"I think now it's just getting back into play, and it's good to know that I still have that fighting spirit in me."

Despite the early exit, Andreescu remained buoyed having produced a memorable first-round victory where she defeated Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania in three sets and broke down afterwards in tears.

"I didn't put expectations on myself," she said. "There's always unconscious expectations for sure, but verbal expectations not really.

"I just told myself that I want to feel good on the court. Just happy to be back, injury-free after so long of not playing."

Hsieh plays seven-time Slam winner Venus Williams or Italian qualifier Sara Errani next.

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