Tennis-Canada's Andreescu withdraws from Tokyo Olympics

FILE PHOTO: Wimbledon

(Reuters) - Canada's Bianca Andreescu has decided not to compete at the Tokyo Olympics due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the former U.S. Open champion said on Monday.

Andreescu is the latest big-name player to opt out of the July 23-Aug. 8 Games. Rafa Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Stan Wawrinka, Nick Kyrgios, Serena Williams and Simona Halep have already announced their decisions to skip the pandemic-delayed Olympics.

"I have been dreaming of representing Canada at the Olympics since I was a little girl," world number five Andreescu said on Instagram.

"But with all the challenges we are facing as it relates to the pandemic, I know that deep in my heart this is the right decision to make for myself."

The 21-year-old, who last competed at Wimbledon where she lost in the first round, said she looked forward to representing Canada in Fed Cup ties and at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Andreescu became Canada's first Grand Slam singles champion with her 2019 U.S. Open triumph but has had a run of injuries starting with a knee problem at that year's WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

Fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov, who reached this year's Wimbledon semi-finals, also said last month that he would not compete in Tokyo.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)