(Reuters) – Former U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu said she was trying to dispel any doubt about herself as she prepared to make another return from injury this week at the Miami Open.
“There is some doubt always in the back of my head but I am trying my best to get rid of that. It’s not easy as a process but I am working a lot on that,” said the Canadian, who, as the eighth seed, has a bye into the second round of the two-week Miami tournament.
“Just feeling good out there, I think that’s that main thing that’s going to help me get rid of that.”
Andreescu, who suffered a torn meniscus in her left knee in October 2019, returned to action after a 15-month injury layoff at last month’s Australian Open but her comeback ended abruptly when she fell to Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei in the second round.
The 20-year-old followed her early exit from the year’s first Grand Slam with a semi-final run at a follow-up event in Melbourne before withdrawing from tournaments in Adelaide, Doha and Dubai with a leg issue.
“I am a professional athlete that’s wearing and tearing her body so it’s normal to have pains here and there and it’s not like I am the only one that’s retiring from tournaments and stuff like that,” Andreescu said on Tuesday.
“There’s so many players that do the same. But I am feeling confident going into the tournament and trying always my hardest.”
Andreescu enjoyed a breakout 2019 campaign when she won the prestigious Indian Wells tournament and her home event in Toronto before going to the U.S. Open where she beat Serena Williams in the final to become Canada’s first Grand Slam singles champion.
But Andreescu suffered a knee injury in the 2019 season-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen and while that campaign brought with it sky-high expectations, she is now taking to the court with a different mindset.
“I am the type of person to always set high expectations for myself,” said Andreescu. “But now my main goal is to just be happy out there and just enjoy myself as much as I can.
“Even if my tennis feels off I just want to take it as something I can push through and feel fulfilled after the match.”
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; editing by Clare Fallon)