Defending US Open champion Bianca Andreescu has been MIA for months.
But the 20-year-old Canadian appears on the initial US Open women’s singles entry list, as reported by the tournament Tuesday.
Andreescu is not playing the “Cincinnati” tournament, on site the week before. That means that more than 10 months will have elapsed since she last played a match (even an exhibition match).
The Canadian has come in cold before – notably last year at the Rogers Cup, which she won – but this is next-level.
But it’s also a no-risk move. If she plays, even if she loses in the first round, she’ll at least have been back on court. And she would still be able to maintain the 2,000 ranking points from her 2019 victory on her rankings calculation.
Andreescu’s last match came at the WTA Tour Finals, last October in Shenzhen, China.
Also on the initial list is world No. 5 Elina Svitolina, who also is taking a pass on “Cincinnati”. Same for former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and former US Open champion Angelique Kerber.
In all, the entire top 10 save for world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty has signed on – subject to the inevitable withdrawals of some.
Of the top-100 players missing, several are from China: Wang Qiang, Zheng Saisai and Zhu Lin.
Beyond that, Julia Goerges, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Anastasia Potapova, Ana Bogdan and Samantha Stosur (whose partner just gave birth to their first child) will not be on hand.
Canadian teenager Leylah Annie Fernandez, ranked No. 118, would have had to go through qualifying in a normal year. But this is not a normal year, and she will make her US Open main-draw debut.
The entry list includes an impressive number of American women: 19. (And that’s without the wild cards to be announced).
The cutoff for this initial list is the same as the men: No. 127.
That’s Aussie Lizette Cabrera.
Four players are in on protected rankings: Vera Zvonareva, Kateryna Bondarenko, Vera Lapko and … Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria.