Miami Open: The return of Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu

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Women’s tennis seemed to have a new star when Bianca Andreescu burst onto the scene in 2019, but the Canadian struggled with an injury-laden 2020. After progressing to this weekend’s Miami Open final, GiveMeSport Women tracks the world number eight’s comeback.

Difficult 2020

Aged just 19, Andreescu’s rise up the tennis world rankings culminated with victory at the 2019 US Open. To get her hands on her first Grand Slam, Andreescu had to first get past tennis legend Serena Williams. She did so in straight sets, defeating the American star 6-3, 7-5.

The world was Andreescu’s oyster. At the time, she would have been shocked to discover she would spend most of 2020 on the sidelines.

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Andreescu picked up a knee injury at the Women's Tennis Association Finals in Shenzhen in October 2019. This led to a 15-month lay-off. Matters were made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the suspension of sport across the world.

Australian Open struggles

Andreescu returned to action at the Australian Open in January. Things got off to a tricky start, however, after her coach Sylvain Bruneau was one of five passengers across three charter flights to Australia to test positive for COVID-19.

Every passenger on the three flights then had to enter a two-week period of strict quarantine, including Andreescu and 71 other players. The lack of adequate preparation seemed to affect Andreescu, who exited the Australian Open in the second round.

A week later, the 20-year-old produced an encouraging semi-final run at the Phillip Island Trophy in Melbourne, but then pulled out of further tournaments in Adelaide, Doha and Dubai with injury concerns.

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Tough test against Barty

Andreescu focused on her fitness to get ready for the Miami Open and will now face off against world number one Ashleigh Barty for the title. It will be her first final since the US Open in 2019.

The tournament at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens has not been easy for Andreescu. Her three-set semi-final thriller against Maria Sakkari lasted until 1:35am local time. It was her fourth consecutive three-set match, and now she faces a tough challenge in the form of Australia’s Barty.

Regardless of the result, Andreescu is still likely to be thrilled she is now putting a tumultuous 2020 well behind her.

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