Bianca Andreescu

Bianca Vanessa Andreescu (Romanian pronunciation: [andreˈesku]; born June 16, 2000) is a Canadian professional tennis player. She has a career-high ranking of No. 4 in the world, and is the highest-ranked Canadian in the history of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). Andreescu was the champion at the US Open and the Canadian Open in 2019, having defeated Serena Williams to win both titles. She is the first Canadian tennis player to win a Grand Slam singles title,[a] and the first to win the Canadian Open in 50 years. She is also the first player to win a Grand Slam singles title as a teenager since Maria Sharapova in 2006.

Bianca Andreescu
Bianca Andreescu (1) (cropped).JPG
Andreescu in 2015
Country (sports) Canada
ResidenceThornhill, Ontario, Canada[1]
Born (2000-06-16) June 16, 2000 (age 20)
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Height1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Turned pro2017
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
CoachSylvain Bruneau
Prize moneyUS$6,720,038
Singles
Career record137–50 (73.3%)
Career titles3
Highest rankingNo. 4 (28 October 2019)
Current rankingNo. 7 (28 September 2020)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open2R (2019)
French Open2R (2019)
Wimbledon1R (2017)
US OpenW (2019)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsRR (2019)
Doubles
Career record29–16 (64.4%)
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 147 (16 July 2018)
Current rankingNo. 1214 (3 February 2020)
Grand Slam Doubles results
US Open1R (2019)
Team competitions
Fed CupPO (2019)
Last updated on: 3 February 2020.

Andreescu began playing tennis in her parents' home country of Romania before returning to Canada, the country of her birth. She had success as a junior, winning the Orange Bowl and two Grand Slam doubles titles with compatriot Carson Branstine en route to reaching a career-best junior ranking of No. 3 in the world. After not playing any matches at the WTA Tour level in 2018, Andreescu had a breakout year in 2019, beginning with a runner-up in her first event of the season, the Auckland Open. She then rose to prominence by winning the Indian Wells Open, a Premier Mandatory tournament. Although she missed several months due to injury, Andreescu qualified for the WTA Finals at the end of the season and finished the year ranked No. 5.

Andreescu's style of play that combines power with variety has been widely regarded as "fun to watch" by tennis commentators and journalists. She has strong support from both Canadian and Romanian fanbases.

Early life and background

Bianca Andreescu was born on June 16, 2000 in Mississauga, Ontario to Nicu and Maria Andreescu.[1] Her parents emigrated from Romania to Canada in 1994 when her father accepted a job in the country. Andreescu's father works as a mechanical engineer at an automotive company, while her mother had worked at a bank in Romania. Her family moved back to Romania when Bianca was six years old so that her mother could start a business in their home country. After two and a half years, they closed the business and returned to Canada. Her mother has since worked as the chief compliance officer at a financial services company.[3] Andreescu began playing tennis in Pitești at the age of seven. She was initially coached by Gabriel Hristache, a friend of her father.[4] When she returned to Canada, she trained at the Ontario Racquet Club in Mississauga before moving to the U14 National Training Centre in Toronto operated by Tennis Canada.[5] She began training more seriously at the age of twelve.[6][7]

Junior career

 
Andreescu in 2015

Andreescu had a career-high junior ranking of No. 3 in world, which she achieved in early 2016.[8] She had early success as a junior, winning Les Petits As, a prestigious 14-and-under tournament, in 2014.[9] She also won the 16-and-under Orange Bowl at the end of the year, becoming the fourth Canadian in a row to win that event.[10] Andreescu began playing 18-and-under events on the ITF Junior Circuit in late 2013. She won her first titles in 2014, three in singles and one in doubles, at Grade 4 and Grade 5 tournaments, the two lowest levels.[8]

Andreescu moved up to higher-level events in early 2015, winning both the singles and doubles titles at the Condor De Plata tournament in Bolivia, her first Grade 2 tournament. She finished runner-up to compatriot Charlotte Robillard-Millette at the Open International Junior de Beaulieu-sur-Mer, her first Grade 1 tournament. Andreescu had less immediate success at the highest-level Grade A tournaments, losing her opening round matches at her first four such events, which included the last three Grand Slam events of the year.[8] Nonetheless, she defeated Robillard-Millette in their home country to win the Canadian Open Junior Championships during the summer, her first Grade 1 title.[11] Late in the year, Andreescu reached both the singles and doubles final at the Yucatán Cup, finishing runner-up to Kayla Day in singles while winning her first doubles title at the Grade 1 level.[8] At her last tournament of the year, Andreescu defeated Day to win the Orange Bowl, her first Grade A title. She was the first player to win the girls' under-16 and under-18 titles in back-to-back years since Mary Joe Fernández in 1984 and 1985.[6][12] During the season, Andreescu also represented Canada at the Junior Fed Cup with Robillard-Millette and Vanessa Wong. Andreescu and Robillard-Millette lost the decisive doubles rubber in the semifinals against the Czech Republic. However, they recovered to win both of their singles rubbers against Russia to take third place.[13] Andreescu was named Outstanding Junior Female by Tennis Canada at the end of the year.[14]

Andreescu had more success at the Grand Slam tournaments in 2016, but did not win any titles in singles or doubles at any level. As the top seed at the Australian Open in both singles and doubles, she withdrew from both events after two matches each because of recurring injuries involving her left adductor and right ankle, as well as a stress fracture in her foot.[15][16] These injuries kept her out for six months.[17] Andreescu returned to competition at Wimbledon, where she lost in the third round. At the US Open, she had her best run at a Grand Slam event to date, reaching the semifinals in singles where she lost to Day.[18] The last two junior events of Andreescu's career came in 2017 at the Grand Slam tournaments. She matched her best Grand Slam result in singles at the Australian Open, where she was defeated by Rebeka Masarova in the semifinals. She then made it to the quarterfinals of the French Open at her last singles event, losing to Claire Liu. Nonetheless, Andreescu won the Grand Slam doubles titles at both of these tournaments with Carson Branstine. The pair defeated the Polish team of Maja Chwalińska and Iga Świątek in the Australian Open final,[19] and the Russian team of Olesya Pervushina and Anastasia Potapova in the French Open final.[20] With their French Open title, Andreescu and Branstine became the first Canadian team to win a Grand Slam girls' doubles title.[b][22][23][24][25]

Professional career

2015–18: First ITF titles, WTA doubles final

 
Andreescu at Wimbledon in 2017

Andreescu began playing on the ITF Women's Circuit in July 2015.[26] She finished runner-up to No. 155 Alexa Glatch in her professional tournament, an ITF $25K event in Gatineau. She was given wild cards into qualifying at the Canadian Open in 2015 and 2016, but was unable to qualify. Andreescu missed most of the first half of 2016 due to injury.[15] When she returned, she began having success at ITF events in Canada. She won her first ITF titles in singles and doubles at the August 2016 event in Gatineau, winning the doubles with junior rival Robillard-Millette.[27] In October, she finished runner-up in both the singles and doubles events at the higher-level $50K Challenger de Saguenay, again partnering with Robillard-Millette. During the singles event, she defeated No. 113 Jennifer Brady in a third-set tiebreak in the semifinals before losing to No. 111 CiCi Bellis in the final.[28][29]

Andreescu won two more ITF $25K titles in early 2017, which helped her break into the top 200 of the WTA rankings.[26][30] After losing in qualifying at the French Open, she was able to qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon. She lost her Grand Slam debut to No. 105 Kristína Kučová.[31] Later in the month, she was awarded a wild card into the main draw of the Washington Open. She defeated Camila Giorgi in the opening round, her first win on the WTA Tour. In her next match, she upset world No. 13 Kristina Mladenovic to advance to the quarterfinals, where she lost to Andrea Petkovic.[32][33] A few weeks later, she made her Canadian Open main draw debut as a wild card, losing to No. 55 Tímea Babos.[34] Andreescu entered qualifying at the US Open, but lost her opening match. In the last stage of the season, Andreescu had more success in doubles. She reached her first WTA final in doubles with compatriot Carson Branstine at the Tournoi de Québec. They finished runner-up to top seeds Tímea Babos and Andrea Hlaváčková.[35] She then partnered with compatriot Carol Zhao to win the doubles title at the $60K Challenger de Saguenay.[26] Andreescu's best ranking during the year was No. 143 and she finished the season at No. 182.[30]

Andreescu did not play any WTA Tour-level matches in 2018. She entered qualifying for all four majors, but did not qualify for any of them. She came the closest at the French Open and Wimbledon, falling one match short at both. Andreescu played primarily at the $25K level, reaching four finals. She had two runner-up finishes in April and two titles late in the season. One of her best results at higher-level events was a quarterfinal at the $100K Midland Tennis Classic. She also reached the semifinals of the $60K Challenger de Granby, where she withdrew due to a back injury.[26] This injury kept her out of the Canadian Open. After attempting to qualify at the US Open, she did not return to competition until late October.[36] Andreescu's two late-season titles helped her finish the year at No. 152 in the world.[30]

2019: First Premier Mandatory title, teenage US Open champion, world No. 4

Despite entering the year having not played a WTA match in over 14 months, Andreescu had a breakthrough season that took her from well outside the top 100 into the upper echelon of women's tennis. She began the season by qualifying for the main draw at the Auckland Open, where she made her first WTA singles final. During the tournament, she upset top seed and world No. 3 Caroline Wozniacki and defeated three top 40 players before finishing runner-up to defending champion and second seed Julia Görges.[37][38] She also qualified for the Australian Open and won one match against Whitney Osuigwe, her first win in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament.[39] Before the end of the month, Andreescu won a WTA 125K title at the Oracle Challenger Series in Newport Beach.[40] With these three tournament results, she rose from No. 152 at the start of the year to No. 107 after the Auckland runner-up to No. 68 after the Australian Open and 125K title, a large enough ascent to become Canada's top-ranked player on the WTA Tour.[30][41]

Andreescu continued her hot streak with a semifinal at the Mexican Open.[42] She then had an even larger breakthrough at the Premier Mandatory Indian Wells Open, where she won her first WTA title. Andreescu defeated four top 20 players in the last four rounds, including No. 6 Elina Svitolina and No. 8 Angelique Kerber in the semifinals and final respectively, both in three sets. She became the first wild card women's singles champion in tournament history and was the first 18-year-old to win the event since Serena Williams in 1999.[43] This title also took her to No. 24 in the WTA rankings.[44][45] Andreescu defeated Kerber again at the Miami Open a week later. However, she then suffered a right shoulder injury in the fourth round of the event that forced her to retire from the match.[46][47] Andreescu's shoulder injury kept her out of all but one tournament until August. She attempted an early comeback at the French Open, but ultimately withdrew after one match.[48] Andreescu made her next return at her home tournament, the Canadian Open, where she won her second high-level Premier tournament of the year. She won her first four matches in straight sets, including the last two over top ten opponents in No. 5 Kiki Bertens and No. 3 Karolína Plíšková. She defeated No. 10 Serena Williams in the final, who needed to retire due to back spasms down 1–3 in the first set. With these three top ten victories, Andreescu improved her record against top ten opponents to 7–0 to open her career. With the title, she moved up to No. 14 in the world. She also became the first Canadian to win the tournament since Faye Urban in 1969.[49][50]

Andreescu's best result of the year came at the US Open, where she won her first Grand Slam title. She advanced to the final without facing a top-ten opponent, with her biggest wins coming against No. 19 Caroline Wozniacki in the third round and No. 12 Belinda Bencic in the semifinals. Her opponent in the final was again Serena Williams. Andreescu defeated Williams in straight sets to win the title.[51] She became the first Canadian tennis player to win a Grand Slam singles title, and the first teenage Grand Slam singles champion since Maria Sharapova won the 2006 US Open. She also became the first player to win the US Open in their main draw debut, and the quickest to win a Grand Slam singles title by main draw appearances with just four, a record she shares with Monica Seles.[52] She also rose to No. 5 in the world.[30] Andreescu's 16-match win streak was ended in the quarterfinals of the China Open by No. 4 Naomi Osaka, which was also her first career loss against a top ten opponent.[53] She closed out the year at the WTA Finals, where she withdrew after two losses to Simona Halep and Plíšková due to a knee injury.[54] At the end of the season, Andreescu was awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's top athlete of the year. She was the first tennis player to win the award.[55]

2020: Struggle with injuries

Andreescu missed the first few months of the 2020 season, including the Australian Open, due to her knee injury from the 2019 WTA Finals. She was to be unable to defend her title at the Indian Wells Open until the tournament and the next several months of the season were cancelled due to the coronavirus global pandemic.[56][57] She is planning to play in the Australian Open in 2021 .

National representation

Having led Canada to third and fifth places at the Junior Fed Cup in 2015 and 2016 respectively,[13][58] Andreescu made her senior Fed Cup debut in 2017 when Canada was in the third-tier Americas Zone Group I. In this group, they needed to finish first in their round robin pool, win a tie against the other round robin pool winner, and then win another tie in the play-off round to get promoted to the second tier the following year. Canada achieved all three of those objectives in 2017. They first swept their round robin pool of Paraguay, Bolivia, and Venezuela, with Andreescu winning all five of her rubbers without dropping a set. Canada then defeated Chile, the winners of the other round robin pool, as Katherine Sebov and Andreescu won the two singles rubbers to clinch the tie.[59] In the World Group II Play-offs, Canada faced Kazakhstan. Andreescu and Françoise Abanda were selected to play singles. After Andreescu lost her opening singles rubber to No. 31 Yulia Putintseva, Abanda won both of her singles rubbers. Andreescu then clinched the tie for Canada with a win against No. 51 Yaroslava Shvedova, the highest-ranked player she defeated to date. As a result, Canada earned promotion to World Group II in 2018.[60]

Canada were drawn against Romania in the 2018 World Group II. They lost the first three singles rubbers and the tie, with Andreescu losing the second rubber to No. 37 Irina-Camelia Begu.[61] Canada faced Ukraine in the World Group II Play-offs. Although Andreescu lost her only singles rubber to No. 40 Lesia Tsurenko, Eugenie Bouchard won both of her singles rubbers to help set up a decisive doubles rubber. Andreescu and Gabriela Dabrowski won the doubles match in three sets over Kateryna Bondarenko and Olga Savchuk to clinch the tie for Canada and keep them in World Group II for the following year.[62] In 2019, Andreescu won both of her singles rubbers as Canada swept the Netherlands 4–0 to advance to the World Group Play-offs.[63] Due to a shoulder injury, she missed the next tie against Czech Republic. Although Canada were swept 0–4 in this tie, the change in the Fed Cup format announced a few months after the tie allowed them to advance to the Qualifying Round for the top-tier Fed Cup Finals in 2020.[64][65]

Playing style

 
Andreescu serving

Andreescu employs a wide variety of shots into her style of play that is set apart by the level of power she incorporates into her game. Martina Navratilova in particular has noted, "Everyone knows how to bang the ball; it's when you bring something extra to the table that it makes all the difference, and Andreescu brings a lot of extra to the table. Think the variety (almost) of [former world No. 1] Martina Hingis, but with more power."[66] One of the keys is to her style of play is having good shot selection, which she excelled at in particular when she won her first career WTA title at the 2019 Indian Wells Open.[66] She rarely hits two shots in a row in the same way,[43] and her opponents can find it difficult to read her shots.[67] The power and variety in her style have received wide praise as both entertaining and effective. Former world No. 1 Tracy Austin, Sportsnet Canada, and The Wall Street Journal all have stated she is "fun to watch".[68][69][70] Gerald Marzorati of The New Yorker declared, "For me, this kind of play is tennis."[43]

Andreescu has multiple options with her forehand, including hitting it flat, with slice, or with heavy topspin to push her opponents further back behind the baseline.[43][71] She also has multiple options with her two-handed backhand, and is capable of hitting it flat at sharp angles, with power, or one-handed with slice.[43] Andreescu can hit large numbers of winners, most of which are typically from the forehand side. She hit 19 winners in the 2019 US Open final[72] and 44 in the 2019 Indian Wells final, 37 of which were forehand winners.[71][73] Andreescu frequently incorporates well-disguised drop shots to change pace and keep her opponents out of rhythm. She also can hit moonballs on occasion for the same purpose.[43][66][71] Following a loss to Andreescu at the 2019 US Open, Caroline Wozniacki likened her style to that of Kim Clijsters, one of Andreescu's childhood tennis idols, saying "I think because [Andreescu] moves well and she can stretch out and get to some balls and also play the aggressive and using the angles. Obviously she prefers the forehand just like Kim... But she can move around the backhand and put the angle on it."[74]

Coaches

 
Nathalie Tauziat, one of Andreescu's junior coaches

Andreescu began playing tennis under Gabriel Hristache in Romania.[4] When training with Tennis Canada at the U14 National Training Centre, she worked with Lan Yao-Gallop for two years starting at the age of twelve. Yao-Gallop, who played professionally for five years, remarked that Andreescu always played with power, but initially lacked control.[7] Andreescu also worked with Aref Jallali at this time.[3] Later on at the age of fourteen, she was coached by Nathalie Tauziat and André Labelle, both of whom also worked with Tennis Canada. Tauziat is a former French professional player who was ranked as high as No. 3 in the world and finished runner-up at Wimbledon in 1998. She served as Andreescu's primary coach at the time and focused on having her improve at taking the ball early, which Andreescu viewed as having an immediate impact on her success as a junior player. Labelle travelled from Montreal to Toronto so that Andreescu did not need to leave home to train.[15][75] In March 2018, Andreescu switched from Tauziat to Sylvain Bruneau, another Tennis Canada coach, so that she could have a full-time traveling coach.[75][76]

Personal life

Andreescu is supported by both Canadian and Romanian fans due to her Romanian heritage. She has said, "I've definitely got a lot of love from all the Romanian media, which is nice. It's nice to have two fan bases, Canada and Romania".[77] Andreescu lived in Romania for two and a half years as a child. She speaks fluent Romanian, and she travels with her parents back to Romania annually to visit the rest of her family.[78] She was raised in part by her Romanian grandparents.[3][79] Andreescu has stated she did not have a favorite tennis player while growing up.[6] However, Simona Halep has been her favorite player at times due to the two having a similar style of play and also because she is Romanian. Andreescu has said she tried to model her game after that of Halep.[5] She first met Halep at the 2016 Canadian Open, where Halep advised her to turn professional.[80] Andreescu also stated she looked up to Kim Clijsters and the Williams sisters.[74][81]

She has been regularly practicing a form of meditation called creative visualization since she was 12 years old. She also practices yoga. She has said, "I don't only work on my physical aspect. I also work on the mental, because that's also very, very important. It's definitely showing through my matches where I'm staying in the present moment a lot of the time. I don't like to focus on what just happened or in the future." While she used to practice creative visualization for a few hours a day, she has since limited this type of meditation to 15 minutes per day due to her busy schedule.[43][82] Andreescu's former coach Aref Jallali credited her mental fortitude to her mother, while another of her former coaches attributed her ability to manage stress to her father.[3]

Bianca is nicknamed Bibi.[83] Her middle name of Vanessa was inspired by American actress and singer Vanessa Williams.[15]

Bianca's dog Coco, a Poodle, is a popular addition to her box. During her USOpen success, Coco was allowed into the venue. [84]

Career statistics

Grand Slam tournament finals

Singles: 1 (1 title)

Result Year Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Win 2019 US Open Hard   Serena Williams 6–3, 7–5

Singles performance timeline

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.
Tournament 2017 2018 2019 2020 SR W–L Win %
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A Q1 2R A 0 / 1 1–1 50%
French Open Q1 Q3 2R A 0 / 1 1–0 100%
Wimbledon 1R Q3 A NH 0 / 1 0–1 0%
US Open Q1 Q1 W A 1 / 1 7–0 100%
Win–Loss 0–1 0–0 9–1 0–0 1 / 4 9–2 82%
Career statistics
Titles 0 0 3 0 Career total: 3
Finals 0 0 4 0 Career total: 4
Year-end ranking 182 178 5 $6,455,038

Note: Andreescu's second-round withdrawal at the 2019 French Open does not count as a loss.

Open Era records

Tournament Year Record accomplished Player tied Ref
US Open 2019 Singles title in first main draw appearance Stands alone [85]
Grand Slams 2019 Singles title in fourth main draw appearance Monica Seles [86]

Awards

WTA awards

ITF awards

Tennis Canada awards

  • Outstanding Junior Female – 2015, 2016[89]
  • Female Player of the Year – 2017[90]

Canadian Sport awards

Notes

  1. ^ Canadian-born Mary Pierce won two Grand Slam singles titles while representing France.[2]
  2. ^ Branstine represented the United States at the Australian Open and Canada at the French Open, having switched federations in-between the two tournaments.[21]

References

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External links