May 16, 2024

Open Court


“Small tear” in Andreescu shoulder sets her back

Rising Canadian star Bianca Andreescu hasn’t picked up a racket since she was forced to retire during her fourth-round match in Miami.

The right shoulder woes had been evident by the amount of tape in that area, from the  triumphant Indian Wells final through those four matches at the Miami Open.

Her coach, Sylvain Bruneau, revealed on a Canadian French-language radio program to be broadcast later on Friday that Andreescu is dealing with a “small tear” in the shoulder.

“At the moment, she’s doing a lot of physical training,” Bruneau told Radio-Canada’s 15-18 program. “The focus is on the physical preparation … She’ll see the doctor next Monday, and we’ll see what happens after that.”

PRP treatment and rest

Bruneau told Tennis.Life that the tear is a small one in the subscapularis, which is the largest muscle in the rotator cuff and is in the front of the shoulder.

Andreescu had a PRP injection three weeks ago – or upon her return home from her breakthrough efforts in Indian Wells and Miami.

PRP therapy, or “Platelet Rich Plasma” therapy, is becoming more and more common in treating injuries. And not just those to professional athletes – weekend warriors as well. Basically, a sample of the patient’s blood is taken and spun in a centrifuge to separate out the precious platelet-rich cells. Those cells are reinjected at the site of the injury.

Those platelets are believed to have a regenerative effect. And the procedure, which Rafael Nadal has used to great effect on his knees, is said to speed up recovery.

Andreescu has been seeing the doctor every Monday, to check the progress.

Long stretch of tennis

After defeating Angelique Kerber twice in the space of two weeks, Andreescu faced Anett Kontaveit for an opportunity to go to the Miami Open quarterfinals.

Again, the shoulder and upper arm were heavily taped. But in the end, down 1-6, 0-2 and having treatment on the court, the Canadian pulled the plug.

Andreescu bowed out from representing Canada in Fed Cup this weekend against the Czech Republic. With the absences of Eugenie Bouchard and Françoise Abanda, that left the Canadian squad rather shorthanded.

No. 184 Rebecca Marino, who hasn’t played any clay-court tennis at all since 2013 with the exception of one entry-level $15,000 ITF event a year ago – will play No. 1. She’ll meet Karolina Muchova in the first match Saturday.

And 16-year-old Leylah Annie Fernandez, at a career-high No. 376 in the WTA Tour rankings but a top-10 junior player, will make her Fed Cup debut at No. 2 singles against Marketa Vondrousova in the second match.

Big clay-court events coming up

Andreescu, with plenty of tools for the clay, has a big season coming up as she heals a “small shoulder tear” suffered during the Sunshine Swing. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

Given the news, it’s no surprise that Andreescu took a pass. There was no question she was eager to play the tie if healthy.

Her next WTA Tour events will be big ones – top-flight clay-court events in Madrid the week of May 4 (about 2 1/2 weeks away), and in Rome the week after that.

This will be the 18-year-old’s first visit to those top-level tournaments. And it appears she’ll have little time to prepare on the red clay even in the best-case scenario.

But the big one, of course, is the French Open.

Andreescu will not only be making her main-draw debut there, she’ll also be seeded.

She lost in the first round of qualifying in 2017 to Tereza Smitkova, and in the final round of qualifying a year ago to Richel Hogenkamp.

“Obviously, Madrid and Rome are getting close. She could do very well during the clay-court season. So I hope she’ll be able to get back in the court soon,” Bruneau added.

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