MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA —
Canada’s Bianca Andreescu has won her first match after a 15-month absence.
The 2019 U.S. Open champion, from Mississauga, Ont., beat Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in the first round of the Australian Open on Sunday.
It was Andreescu’s first match since suffering a torn left meniscus at the WTA Tour finals in October 2019.
She chose to focus on training last year rather than return to the WTA Tour when play resumed after a pause due to the pandemic. Andreescu has practised regularly for the last nine or 10 days since the quarantine period in Melbourne ended.
Ranked outside the top 150 prior to 2019, Andreescu won three tournaments that year and became one of the biggest stars in the sport. A win over Serena Williams at the U.S. Open made Andreescu Canada’s first Grand Slam singles champion.
Seeded eighth, Andreescu got a favourable opening-round matchup in drawing the 138th-ranked Buzarnecu. She will face Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei in the second round.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2021.