It is always exciting to see a young player emerging on tour. One such player currently enjoying an impressive breakthrough is Canada’s Bianca Andreescu. But who is the young gun?
A rankings rise
Still just 18-years-old, Andreescu is currently ranked 60th in the world. But thanks to her run in Indian Wells, where she has reached the quarterfinals, she will break into the top 50 for the first time in her career when the rankings are updated next week. That will be the latest jump in what has been a phenomenal rise so far in 2019. Remarkably, the youngster was ranked at world #152 at the start of this year, but her impressive form has propelled her rapidly towards the game’s elite. For those who followed her junior career, that is no surprise. Andreescu showed great promise before stepping up to the main WTA Tour, winning the Australian Open and French Open junior doubles titles, as well as reaching two semifinals at Grand Slam-level in singles.
Indian Wells surge
Andreescu became the youngest quarterfinalist since Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who reached the last four in the Californian desert in 2009 aged 17 years and eight months, when she defeated Wang Qiang 7-5 6-2. That win, in which she showed great composure, looking every inch a seasoned campaigner rather than a teenager making her first strides in the professional game, followed equally impressive victories over Romania’s Irina Camelia-Begu, 32nd seed Dominika Cibulkova and Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland. It has earned her a shot at the former world #1 Garbine Muguruza of Spain, in what could prove to be a thrilling battle.
Andreescu had already delivered a number of outstanding results this year with her win-loss record currently a fairly astonishing 25-3. One such result was her triumph at the Newport Beach WTA 125k in January, sealed with a 0-6 6-4 6-2 victory over the USA’s Jessica Pegula in the final. It was her maiden WTA title and, as a result of her victory, she overtook Eugenie Bouchard, who she thrashed in the quarterfinals 6-0 6-2, to become the top-ranked Canadian for the first time.
The teenager also claimed the first top five win of her fledgling career earlier this year. It came during her memorable run to the final at the Auckland Open when she defeated then-world #3 Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets in the round of 16. She backed that up by winning 11 consecutive games against Venus Williams to beat the venerable American 6-7 6-1 6-3 in the quarterfinals, before reaching the final by dismissing Hseih Su-Wei in straight sets. However, there she came up just short, losing in three sets to Julia Gorges. Andreescu also impressed in reaching the semifinals in Acapulco, where she lost narrowly to the in-form Sofia Kenin 4-6 6-3 5-7.
Andreescu will surely hope to emulate and even surpass Bouchard, who was a Wimbledon finalist in 2014 and climbed as high as fourth in the world rankings. Indeed, Andreescu, who possesses formidable power and a seemingly endless well of belief, looks to have the sort of game required to go all the way at a Major. What is certain is that the future is extremely bright for Canadian tennis, with Andreescu part of a rising crop of Canadian talent including world #25 Denis Shapovalov and the talented Felix Auger-Aliassime.
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