What were you doing when you were 18 years old? Almost finishing your high school education? A likely possibility. Working at a job you may not like but pays well? Possibly.
Canadian Bianca Andreescu is no ordinary 18-year-old. The Mississauga, Ontario native is a professional tennis player, looking to become a breakthrough player in the WTA. With her recent success at the Auckland Open, she is taking the women’s tennis world by storm. She pulled off a stunning upset over World No. 3 Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-4. In the next round, she battled her way to a three set win over American legend Venus Williams 6-7(1) 6-1 6-3. For Andreescu, it is the opportunity she has been waiting for to prove that she can compete with the best in the world.
“Honestly, I can’t believe it right now. I’ve dreamed of playing on this stage against top players and now I’m here,” Andreescu said.
Hard-Work and Determination Key Assets for Andreescu
Tennis has been her life as long as Bianca Andreescu can remember. After being born in Canada, she and her family moved back to her ancestral nation of Romania. At age seven, she picked up a tennis racquet and began playing tennis. The young Canadian has never looked back.
After moving back to Canada, she joined Tennis Canada’s U14 Training Program in Toronto. At this point, she was showing the beginning signs of greatness. The accolades followed, evidenced by her Orange Bowl victory at age 15, becoming the first Canadian since Gabriela Dabrowski to complete the feat. At the end of 2015, she was coached by former World No. 3 Nathalie Tauziat, who had also coached Canadian Eugenie Bouchard.
“She can do many things, she has good hands and she’s a very powerful girl,” said Tauziat. “She has big goals and she is doing many things to reach these big goals.”
Expect Andreescu to Build Off of Auckland Success
Heading into 2019, there were great expectations for Bianca Andreescu. She reached a career high ITF ranking of No.3 back in 2016. In 2017, she captured the Junior Australian Open and French Open doubles titles with partner Carson Branstine. She even qualified into her first Grand Slam singles main draw at Wimbledon.
But recent injuries and setbacks have called into question whether Andreescu could take the next step in her career. Her historic wins in Auckland would not have been possible if she hadn’t won her three qualifying matches into the main draw.
“It feels like a double dream,” Andreescu said. “I’m really just speechless. I don’t know if this is a dream, if one of you can pinch me please. Honestly, I’ve worked really hard for this moment. I’m just really grateful.”
After losing the first set to Venus Williams in a tiebreaker, Andreescu raised her game. She utilized her powerful groundstrokes and efficient serve, winning 11 straight games after losing the first set and down a break in the second.
“I was like ‘What is going on. I just broke her five times in a row,’ “Andreescu added. “She’s one of the best servers in the game. Today she didn’t serve as well as other matches I’ve seen her play. But I took control of that. It was honestly a gift, maybe like a late Christmas present.”
Andreescu now faces Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei in the semifinals. It is tough to predict how the 18 year old will respond after two victories over top players. But for a country searching for a new female star, it looks like Canada has found one in Bianca Andreescu.
“I believe that anything is possible and tonight I think I did the impossible.”
Embed from Getty Images