Bianca Andreescu withdraws from Canada's Olympic tennis team, citing pandemic

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Bianca Andreescu says she has withdrawn from Canada's Olympic tennis team.

The 21-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., posted on her Instagram account that she is pulling out of the Games due to pandemic-related challenges.

A state of emergency took effect in Tokyo on Monday as the number of new COVID-19 cases is climbing fast and hospital beds are starting to fill just 11 days ahead of the Olympics.

The state of emergency will cover the entire duration of the July 23-Aug. 8 Games, and means fans will be banned from attending events.

Andreescu, ranked No. 5 on the WTA Tour, says it was a "difficult decision" and that she has dreamt of representing Canada at the Olympics since she was a little girl.

She is the second high-profile Canadian tennis player to opt out of Tokyo, following top-ranked Canadian men's player Denis Shapovalov, who made the same decision last month.

Andreescu returned to action this year after suffering an injury at the end of her breakout 2019 season that saw her win the U.S. Open.

Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime, Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil, Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, Que., Ottawa's Gabriela Dabrowski and Toronto's Sharon Fichman are the other members of Canada's Olympic team.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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