Meet Bianca Andreescu: Making Tennis History at 18 Years Old
When her season started, Bianca Andreescu was ranked 152 in the WTA. Today she is ranked 24. The Mississauga native has quickly become a household name after becoming the first Canadian to win a Premier Mandatory title at the Indian Wells in March. Winning this title also made her the first wild card in Indian Wells history to reach the finals, and the youngest woman to win this since Serena Williams. Did we mention she is only 18 years old?
When did you start playing tennis and what is it that you love about this sport?
I began playing tennis in Romania when I was very young. I love that tennis is always challenging me and pushing me to be better; no two matches are the same. The ability to improve myself, not only physically but also mentally, and have it pay off in my matches is extremely rewarding.
Tell us how it felt to become the first-ever wild card to win the BNP Paribas Open and the youngest woman to win the trophy in Indian Wells since Serena Williams. You are also the first Canadian to win a Premier Mandatory title. Has it sunk in yet?
It is an incredible honour and truly an indescribable feeling. One of my dreams was to make history playing tennis, I just can’t believe it happened so fast! It has been such a humbling experience and a whirlwind. Leaving Indian Wells and flying straight to the Miami Open distracted me from what actually happened, it took awhile for it to sink in. Now that I have had some time to process the entire experience from start to finish, I am blown away by the support from my fans and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me!
You began this year ranked 152nd with the goal to break the Top 100. Just a handful of events into the season, you’re now ranked 23rd in the world. What has been the difference for you mentally as you approach each new tournament and what have you learned about yourself in the process?
Mentally, I have continued to gain confidence and focus. I go into each match ready to play my best game no matter who is on the other side of the net. With each new tournament, I am gaining more experience against the best players in the world, which challenges me and makes me better. I am continuing to learn how strong I am and that anything is possible with hard work and dedication.
Your first singles title was an exhausting match where you had to push hard through fatigue and pain to come out on top. You also had to fight through pain during your impressive run in the Miami Open. How have you been handling competing against these high-level opponents and what are you doing to help your body operate in this capacity?
I think it truly comes down to the mental aspect of the game. You have to be mentally strong to center yourself and focus on each point, no matter who won the previous point, the fans, and any other outside distractions. Being able to drown out all the noise takes practice and I think my daily meditations really help me in that aspect. Physically, I work out every day and am constantly working on getting stronger. I listen to my body and I know my limits; when I can play through the pain and when I need to rest. It’s definitely a fine line, but knowing yourself and your body is key in being successful. I learn more about myself every day and try to stay dedicated to what serves me in the present moment.
How has your life changed now that you are getting much more attention from fans, the press, and the entire world of professional sports?
My life has changed a lot, more than I would have ever imagined! I think I first noticed the shift on social media, seeing everyone interact with me on Instagram and Twitter was crazy, especially seeing tweets from some of the biggest names in the world! Seeing my name in print, hearing it on TV and the radio, it was so surreal and very much a pinch me moment. All of the recognition lately has really humbled me, I am so grateful for the support and encouragement from people all over the world! It makes me want to work even harder!
You had set the goal of getting into the main draw of the French Open. Now that you’ve checked that off your list, what are some goals you have moving forward?
I would love to make into the WTA Top 10, of course perform well in the Grand Slams and just continue to get better every day.
Who is on your playlist?
I am a huge hip-hop and rap fan so I have a good mix of artists but my favourites are of course Drake and Rihanna.
What’s one thing you can’t live without on game day?
My lucky penny! It stays in my tennis bag and goes everywhere with me. I also can’t live without my air pods. Music is so important to me and it’s what gets me pumped up, in the zone and ready to play!
Who is a role model for you in this sport?
Simona Halep and Kim Clijsters
You’ve already had the opportunity to travel to so many amazing places in the world. Tell us the top 3 places you’ve visited.
New York City, Melbourne and Tokyo
What are some hobbies you enjoy during your time off?
That’s an easy one! I am always binge watching something on Netflix and spending time with my friends and family, especially since I am traveling so much and don’t get to see them as often. I also love going to Raptors’ games and, of course, going shopping!