Bianca Andreescu saw her challenge at the 2021 Miami Open meet an unfortunate end on Saturday. Andreescu was forced to retire from the championship match while trailing World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty 3-6, 0-4, due to an ankle injury.
Speaking to the media after the final, Bianca Andreescu shed a few tears at the start as she took in the full impact of having to pull out mid-way through such an important match. But when she regained her composure, the 20-year-old lavished praise on her opponent Ashleigh Barty.
Andreescu asserted that the pair would play many more high-profile matches in the future, provided they both stayed healthy.
"She's a great player. I think I'm a pretty decent player as well. If we both stay healthy, I think we'll have many many matches to come against each other and I'm really looking forward to that. It's going to be fun. She definitely challenges me," Andreescu said.
Andreescu also commended the top-ranked WTA player for her versatile style of play, before jokingly stating she had got a taste of her own medicine during the pair's encounter at Miami.
"She hits a good ball, she doesn't play like a lot of the players on tour," Andreescu said. "She likes to mix it up like me and that's not fun to play against. I guess I'm getting a little taste of my own medicine."
"I feel very strong to last on clay this season" - Bianca Andreescu
Bianca Andreescu slipped and fell on the court when she was down 2-0 in the second set. The Canadian subsequently underwent medical treatment for her ankle, but that didn't seem to help and she was forced to retire two games later.
When asked whether the injury would affect her schedule for the upcoming clay season, Andreescu sounded optimistic that it wouldn't. The World No. 9 claimed she was feeling good in terms of her game, and that she had done a lot of fitness work over the last few months to withstand these kind of setbacks.
"I feel good, I love playing on clay," Andreescu said. "I feel very strong to last on clay this season. Been putting a lot of work in and that showed this week. So, I want to continue to do that and hopefully, I can do very well."
The 20-year-old also expressed gratitude for the opportunity she got to compete at a high level again.
"To me, it was a great tournament," Bianca Andreescu said. "I really fought through very tough matches. My body seemed to be good up until today. I think it was just a freak accident. But other than that I'm super grateful."