Tennis star Bianca Andreescu was already planning to take some time off when she recently injured her knee. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Andreescu coach hopeful that knee injury won’t affect off-season training

Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu was already planning to take some time off after her recent appearance at the season-ending WTA Finals. A left knee injury suffered in her second match at the tournament ended up forcing her hand.

Andreescu’s coach, Sylvain Bruneau, is hopeful the injury will not delay their off-season training plans ahead of the 2020 campaign.

“We’re seeing a few doctors now and it looks like she’s going to need some time off and she’s going to need rehab,” Bruneau said Monday. “But it seems like it will hopefully be under control and it’s not going to be something that’s going to be too serious. So hopefully that’s the case.”

Andreescu opened the tournament in Shenzhen, China with a loss to Simona Halep before injuring the knee early in her match against Karolina Pliskova on Wednesday. The 19-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., was hurt when she stretched to return a serve.

She had the leg taped and went on to lose the first set before retiring from the match. Andreescu told Bruneau during an on-court coaching session that she “heard a crack” and was unable to bend her knee.

Andreescu later said results from an MRI convinced her to withdraw from the eight-player tournament on Thursday. She didn’t provide specifics on what the exam discovered and Bruneau declined to go into further detail when reached in Montreal.

The injury was a tough way to end what has been a remarkable season for Andreescu, who won titles at Indian Wells, the Rogers Cup and the US Open.

“It was enough that she had to stop and not play in the final match,” said Bruneau. “She’s going to take a couple weeks now of rest and rehab. It was a bit of a downer because she was super-excited to be at the tournament.

“She really wanted to be in the top four and do even better. It was kind of a cold shower, that knee injury.”

Andreescu is ranked fifth in the world and is fourth on the money list with earnings of just over US$6.5 million. However, injuries were a common theme throughout the year with a shoulder issue scuttling four months of the season.

Bruneau said they have mapped out a plan for the off-season and the leadup to the Australian Open in January but it will depend on how her knee rehab goes.

“Hopefully this injury is not going to delay things too much,” he said. “We were going to take a rest anyway. She was going to enjoy two weeks off so timing-wise — it’s not like there’s a big tournament coming up — so timing-wise, I guess it’s fine.”

Andreescu’s stunning ascension kicked off last January at the ASB Classic in Auckland when she upset former world No. 1s Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams. She reached the final before falling to Julia Goerges.

Andreescu won the Oracle Challenger Series tournament later that month at Newport Beach and her first career Premier Mandatory title came in March at the BNP Paribas Open.

She beat Serena Williams in the Rogers Cup final at Toronto when the American veteran retired from the match due to injury. They met again a month later in the US Open final, with Andreescu winning in straight sets.

Andreescu closes the season with a 48-7 won-loss record.

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