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Bianca Andreescu to miss Australian Open due to mental health break

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Former world No. 4 and 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu is opting out of the Australian Open in order to take a mental health break, she announced Monday.

“As you all know, the past two years have been very challenging for me for a variety of reasons,” she wrote on social media, citing the past year as being particularly difficult. “I spent multiple weeks in isolation quarantine which affected me greatly – both mentally and physically.”

Andreescu had an up-and-down 2021 season. After contracting COVID in April, she parted ways with coach Sylvain Bruneau in June and was subsequently bounced from Wimbledon. She later missed the Olympics before being defeated in the US Open by Maria Sakkari.

Additionally, the 21-year-old said her grandmother’s stay in the ICU for several weeks due to COVID-19 “really hit me hard.”

“A lot of days, I did not feel like myself, especially while I was training and/or playing matches,” she continued. “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 and it took its toll on me.

“I want to give myself extra time to re-set, recover and grow from this (as cliche 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.”

Andreescu joins a long list of athletes who have taken mental health breaks over the past year, including four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka.

Serena Williams has also opted out of the Australian Open following the advice of her medical team.