MIAMI, Fla. – It appears that after nearly six months, 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu is finally looking at a return to the courts.
The 21-year-old has begun training (on the Har-Tru) at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
And she is in the entry list for the 500-level indoor clay tournament in Stuttgart the week of April 18.
Meanwhile, last year’s finalist will find her ranking points from last year’s Miami Open falling at the end of the tournament. And thus, will find her ranking at about No. 120.
**UPDATE: With a raft of withdrawals, Andreescu may not need the wild card she was given in Stuttgart. At No. 44 that week (before her Miami points dropped off), she is the last one straight into the draw on ranking as of Friday afternoon.
And – good news: Andreescu arrived in Stuttgart Thursday night.***
Stuttgart over Istanbul
The initial cutoff for Stuttgart was rough – it sat at No. 30.
That, of course, presumes that she’ll feel ready to compete again. In these cases it’s best to wait until a player actually takes the court.
Andreescu is not entered (yet) in any of the other major spring clay tournaments like Rome, Madrid and Roland Garros.
But the entry deadlines for those events haven’t yet passed.
(UPDATE: Andreescu entered Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros with her protected ranking of No. 22. It doesn’t mean she’ll play them all, but she can).
It’s interesting that she would choose Stuttgart to return to action rather than a competing event in Istanbul. That one will have a less stellar field with only a couple of top-30 players entered. It might be a better launching pad.
Bouchard also returning
More good news on the Canadian front as 2014 Wimbledon finalist Genie Bouchard also plans to return to play in a few weeks.
Bouchard has been awarded a wild card at a $100,000 ITF event in Florida the week of April 11.
It’s called the U.S. Pro Women’s Clay Court Championships and will be held at the Innisbrook tennis resort in the Tampa, Fla. area.
****UPDATE: The draw came out, but Bouchard wasn’t in it. A few days later, she appeared at a big facility opening for her clothing sponsor New Balance. So it’s hard to figure she had any intention of playing. And then she headed for Coachella. So the comeback, it appears, remains on hold *****
Bouchard hasn’t played a match in over a year, since losing her opener at the Monterrey tournament, the week after reaching the final at the WTA event in Guadalajara last March.
She had shoulder surgery in June.
Her current ranking sits at No. 1454, as she only has three points remaining on her rankings chart.
Bouchard’s protected ranking, when she’ll need to use it, is at No. 118. That won’t be enough to get her into the main draw at Grand Slam events.