INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - Defending champion Bianca Andreescu is the latest high-profile name forced to withdraw from next week's BNP Paribas Open due to injury.

The reigning US Open champion suffered a left knee injury at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen last October, which not only brought her debut there to a premature end, but has delayed the start to her 2020 campaign.

After withdrawing from four events to start the year, including the Australian Open, the Canadian announced on Saturday that a return to the site of her first career WTA title is not in the cards this season.

"As many of you know, I’ve been working through an injury I suffered last year during the WTA Finals. It’s been a long road to recovery, and while I was looking forward to getting back on court and defending my title at Indian Wells, unfortunately, I’m still not 100%," Andreescu said in a statement.

"I would like to thank you all for your continued support and sticking with me on this journey. Your kind words have been so uplifting.

"While I am disappointed that I am not competing next week in a tournament where I have such great memories, I am focused on my recovery and rehab and working hard to get back on the court as soon as possible."

Andreescu's news follows that of reigning Wimbledon champion Simona Halep and three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber, last year's finalist, who both announced their withdrawals on Friday.

A wildcard into last year's Indian Wells event, the Canadian stormed through the Premier Mandatory tournament to announced herself as a force on tour, beating five seeded players along the way, including Garbiñe Muguruza, Elina Svitolina and Kerber in a thrilling three-set final. 

She became the first wildcard to win the title in the tournament's history and the youngest Indian Wells champion since Serena Williams in 1999. 

2019 Indian Wells highlights: Andreescu conquers Kerber to win first title