She’s the girl who could from Canada.
Sportscasters could barely pronounce Bianca Andreescu’s name leading up to her historic US Open 2019 Grand Slam title, but there’s no doubt she has now become a household name amongst tennis fans.
But who is this girl that was ranked outside of the top 200 as of just last year, and now is ranked number 5 in the world?
Let’s take a closer look at her recent success and the history behind the still-teenager that has defeated the odds to rise to prominence.
The Path To The Slam
Andreescu finished last season ranked 178 in the world and lost in the US Open qualifying rounds, so pundits were not expecting a banner year for her this season.
Things weren’t going any better for her when she sustained a shoulder injury that knocked her out of commission for about four months. But she played through, suffering two losses due to having to drop out.
However, she started the 2019 season by knocking off some big names including Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams, the latter the sister of the player she would face in the finals.
Before the historic Slam though, Andreescu managed to win some higher-profile titles in Indian Wells, California and Toronto, Ontario. Aside from the losses due to the injuries, she’s won 24 matches in a row, including some big names.
The US Open 2019
Andreescu was able to handle Elise Mertens in the quarter-final, a highly successful player from Belgium.
But it didn’t look good for Andreescu after that point in the tournament. She was battling hard against Belinda Bencic but was down 2-5. But despite being behind, she rallied for five straight games and ending up moving on in dramatic fashion.
In the process, she won herself a spot in the US Open final, the first time a Canadian had ever done so in singles.
Waiting for her was Serena Williams, a living legend that has 23 Grand Slam titles under her belt. The only woman with more Grand Slam titles is Margaret Court with 24. In fact, Williams’ storied career dates back to before Andreescu was born – Williams won her first US Open title in 1998.
Andreescu, on the other hand, was born in 2000, making her just 19 years of age.
But what came next was a surprise to everyone.
The Big Match vs. Serena Williams
The US Open 2019 wasn’t the first time the two faced off with a title on the line.
They were both competing in the 2019 Rogers Cup in Toronto, and Andreescu was looking sharp. Williams had fallen behind her 19-year-old competitor 3-1, and it looked like the battle was going to be fierce.
However, Williams was forced to bow out of the first set due to back spasms despite putting on a brave face leading up to that moment. That handed Andreescu the win, the first for a Canadian in the tournament in 50 years.
It also set the stage for their next meeting at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.
The highly anticipated US Open 2019 matchup saw Andreescu defeating Williams 6-3, 7-5, a convincing win that she actually apologized for afterward to the crowd in true Canadian fashion. It was the first time any player born in the 2000s had earned a Slam singles victory.
In fact, it’s known that Andreescu practices meditation, which could help contribute to getting her mind in the right space before a match.
Who is Bianca Andreescu?
Now that we’ve learned a little bit about how this Canadian teenager rose to number 5 in the rankings and defeated a legend, we can now learn a bit more about her.
Bianca Vanessa Andreescu is a first-generation Canadian born on June 16, 2000. Her parents had arrived in Canada from Romania in 1994. However, despite being born in Canada her tennis journey actually started back in her parent’s homeland.
She was so focused and spent so much time on the court that she ended up completing her high school diploma online. She now lives in Thornhill, a community outside of Toronto.
Her Tennis Journey
Andreescu has had an almost lifelong obsession with the sport. She would begin playing tennis at the young age of 7 before her family returned to Canada. She trained at the Ontario Racquet Club in Mississauga before moving on to the national training program of Tennis Canada. The Williams sisters were actually one her inspirations early on in her developing career.
She started winning junior titles in 2014 before ITF debut in 2015. By 2016, she had her first ITF title. She competed in her first WTA events the following year, showing promise by upsetting some top seeds.
2017 also marked a year when Andreescu was named Tennis Canada’s Female Player of the Year. She also earned the 2017 Fed Cup Heart Award, awarded to those who show courage on court and dedication to their country.
The year 2018 brought some doubles success but injuries forced her out of commission for some time. However, injuries didn’t stop her in 2019 from climbing into the spotlight and tennis history.
Other Stats and Interesting Facts
Andreescu has a career singles record of 134-47, and a doubles record of 29-16. She stands 5’7″ tall, and she plays right-handed. She can serve over 108 MPH.
Aside from that, here are a couple of other things that might be of interest: her nickname is “Bibi,” and her parents are very involved in following her career. They can often be seen courtside cheering her on, as they were for her big win against Serena Williams.
She was actually the first Canadian since Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic to make it to a grand slam final. (Both lost.) Of the more than $6.2 million in career earnings so far for Andreescu, more than $6 million of that came from 2019 alone.
What’s next? Andreescu is eyeing a return at the Beijing Open which starts September 28.
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