Bianca Andreescu pulls out in Auckland to make Serena Williams top seed

Serena Williams and Bianca Andreescu (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Serena Williams and Bianca Andreescu (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) /

Bianca Andreescu will not be able to compete with Serena Williams in the ASB Classic, meaning the American is the new number one seed.

Serena Williams will not get an immediate chance to face Bianca Andreescu in a US Open final rematch after the Canadian withdrew from the upcoming ASB Classic.

Andreescu, targeting the world number one ranking this season, is still recovering from a knee injury she sustained at the WTA Finals and has therefore decided not to take part in the WTA International event in Auckland.

The Canadian was runner-up at the ASB Classic at the start of this year and was due to be the top seed in 2020 as part of an impressive field of players because her world number five ranking was the highest of those scheduled to be involved.

Instead, Serena will take up the number one seeding and face competition from the likes of Coco Gauff, Petra Martic, Amanda Anisimova, defending champion Julia Goerges and, of course, Caroline Wozniacki.

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US Open champion Andreescu will instead focus on ensuring she is ready in time for the first Grand Slam of the year at the Australian Open next month.

The 2019 tournament in Auckland was where she started her remarkable rise by reaching the final, a run that kicked off a stunning year of progress that peaked with her win over Serena at Flushing Meadows.

“I’m super disappointed about it,” Bianca Andreescu said after her withdrawal in a video released by the tournament on social media.

“But I spoke to my team and I really have to do what’s best for my knee right now. I have so many amazing memories there, so hopefully I can create more in 2021.”

As number one seed, Serena will sense an opportunity to win her first WTA Tour title in three years.

The 38-year-old plays a lighter schedule than most of the other top women’s stars, but will have a busy week in Auckland.

The news from Bianca Andreescu came after Serena had confirmed she will partner her close friend Wozniacki in the doubles tournament at the ASB Classic.

Both stars are playing the singles event and will finally have the chance to play together for the first time in the other form of the sport in the same week.

The event is one of Wozniacki’s last on the WTA circuit, as she will be retiring after the Australian Open.

That major in Melbourne is the only one she has won in her career, though she has racked up a string of other notable accomplishments.

Serena Williams, meanwhile, will have to wait for another shot at 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu, who she is yet to beat in two attempts.

That chance could even come at the Australian Open, where both will be among the top favorites to come out on top.

Serena aims to achieve a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title while the Canadian looks to emulate Naomi Osaka with back-to-back major wins in New York and Melbourne.

A statement from the ASB Classic read: “Organisers have been advised that Bianca Andreescu has had to withdraw from the upcoming event due to her ongoing knee issues.

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“We are disappointed not to welcome Bianca back and wish her all the best for a speedy recovery.”