Tennis: Canada's Bianca Andreescu to skip Olympics due to COVID-19

Canada's Bianca Andreescu withdrew from participation in the tennis tournament at the postponed 2020 Summer Games due to concerns about COVID-19 in Japan. File Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI
Canada's Bianca Andreescu withdrew from participation in the tennis tournament at the postponed 2020 Summer Games due to concerns about COVID-19 in Japan. File Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

July 13 (UPI) -- Canada's Bianca Andreescu withdrew her name from the roster of tennis players set to compete in the postponed 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, the No. 5 player in the WTA rankings announced.

Andreescu announced with withdrawal Monday on social media. She is listed as a member of Team Canada on the International Tennis Federation's Olympic tennis event entry list.


"I have been dreaming of representing Canada at the Olympics since I was a little girl, but with all the challenges we are facing as it relates to the pandemic, I know that deep in my heart, this is the right decision to make for myself," Andreescu wrote.

"I look forward to representing Canada in future Fed Cup ties, and competing at the 2024 Olympics in Paris!"

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No. 73 Leylah Annie Fernandez is listed as the other women's singles player on Team Canada. No. 15 Felix Auger-Aliassime and No. 61 Vasek Pospisil are listed as Canada's men's singles competitors.

Andreescu won her first career singles Grand Slam at the 2019 U.S. Open. She missed each of the three Grand Slams played in 2020 and lost in the second round at the 2021 Australian Open. She lost her first-round matches at the 2021 French Open and Wimbledon 2021.


Andreescu, 25, is the latest tennis star to opt out of Tokyo. Serena Williams of the United States, Spain's Rafael Nadal and Austria's Dominic Thiem are among the other top players who won't compete at the Summer Games.

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Serbian Novak Djokovic, the top men's player, told reporters Sunday at Wimbledon 2021 that he is "divided" on his decision to play in Tokyo. Djokovic gave himself a 50% chance of participation, despite his name being included on the ITF's Olympic entry list.

Fans are not allowed to attend the Summer Games, a stipulation Djokovic cited when asked about his reluctance to participate in the Olympics.

"I also hear that there's going to be a lot of restrictions within the village," Djokovic told reporters Sunday in London. "Possibly you would not be able to see other athletes perform live.

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"I can't even have my stringer that is a very important part of my team. ... I'm limited with the amount of people I can take in my team as well.

"I'll have to think about it. Right now, as I said, my plan was always to go to Olympic Games. But right now I'm a little bit divided. It's kind of 50/50 because of what I heard in the last couple days."


No. 1 Ash Barty of Australia, No. 2 Naomi Osaka of Japan and No. 3 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus are among the top women's players expected to compete in Tokyo. No. 4 Sofia Kenin, the highest-ranked women's or men's American player, opted out of participation.

The Tokyo Olympic Committee announced Thursday that fans can't attend the Games. Japan declared a state of emergency, due to COVID-19, during Olympic events.

Tennis events run from July 24 through Aug. 1 for the postponed 2020 Summer Games.

Notable Olympians returning to Summer Games

Simone Biles stands on the floor after winning the gold medal in the floor exercise at the Olympic Arena of the Rio Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on August 16, 2016. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

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