Bianca Andreescu is a name that is slowly, but surely, on its way to becoming a household name. The 19-year-old has had a meteoric rise in tennis, had having a terrific year, culminating into her reaching the 2019 US Open final. She will face Serena Williams on Saturday for the Grand Slam title.
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Last year Andreescu played in the Fed Cup for Canada, even winning the deciding doubles match with partner Gabriela Dabrowski in April. Unfortunately though, she was forced to keep away from tennis later on due to a bad back. 2019 has been all about Andreescu breaking through on the tour and getting people to notice her. She is establishing herself as a talent to watch out for.
The Canadian got off the mark from the very first week of the year.
She qualified for the main draw of the Auckland Open, where she went on to beat high-profile players like top seed Caroline Wozniacki, sixth seed Venus Williams and third seed Hsieh Su-wei. Bianca, who was ranked outside the top 100 at the start of this year, managed to reach her first final in the WTA singles where she lost to the defending champion Julia Goerges.
Andreescu then qualified for the main draw at the Australian Open when her opponent for the final qualifying round, Tereza Smitkova, retired. She made the second round at Melbourne before losing to Anastasija Sevastova.
January also saw Andreescu become the highest-ranked Canadian, surpassing Eugenie Bouchard, after winning her first WTA 125K title at Newport Beach. She continued her impressive run at the Mexican Open of the ATP 500 Series, where she made the semifinals, losing to Sofia Kenin of America. It helped her reach a career-best ranking of No. 60.
All this led her to get a wild card entry into the main draw of the Indian Wells.
Clearly unfazed even on such a big stage, as she went on to beat big names like Dominika Cibulkova, Qiang Wang and Elina Svitolina.
She then overcame world number one Garbine Muguruza, which put her in an exclusive group, alongside Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters, of wild card entrants to reach the semifinals of the tournament.
Not satisfied, the talented Canadian beat Svitolina for the second time to become the first wild card to reach the final of the Indian Wells.
She faced Angelique Kerber in the final, winning in three tightly-contested sets. This catapulted her ranking to 24, making everyone take notice of the teenager, if they hadn’t already. Of course Kerber called her a drama queen after that win, but Andreescu chose to ignore that barb.
She followed this up with a good showing at the Miami Open, where she avenged her loss to Kenin earlier in the year and beat Kerber too, once again. Unfortunately though, the gruelling start to the season took a bit of a toll on her and she was forced to retire in the fourth round due to a right shoulder injury.
The shoulder injury forced Andreescu to miss most of the clay season. She came back for Roland Garros, winning her first round but once again her shoulder forced her to pull out of her second round match against Kenin. Alas she could not play the grass-court season at all, as she nursed her shoulder back to health.
Now ranked just outside the top 20, Andreescu came back with a bang in her home tournament of Rogers Cup in Toronto, winning her second WTA title, beating top players like Bouchard, Kiki Bertens, Karolina Pliskova and Sofia Kenin.
The final was going to be her biggest test, having to face Serena Williams, however, Williams was forced to retire due to back spasms, after going down 1-3 in the first set. Her second title also gave her a career-high ranking of 14.
Nearly a month on, Bianca will be facing Serena yet again, in another big final.
The 19-year-old Canadian has proven herself to be a force to reckon with, having won her first seven matches against top-ten opponents. This in itself is an awe-inspiring record, but her best of the year was yet to come.
She kept her scintillating form coming into the final Grand Slam of the year. She saw off high-calibre players like Caroline Wozniacki, Elise Mertens and Belinda Bencic to make her maiden slam final at just 19 years of age. She will face Serena Williams for her maiden Grand Slam title, but she has the biggest test of her career on Saturday.
Williams is looking in very good touch and will be doing all she can to win her 24th slam when she faces the Canadian on her home soil. Having said that, it would be folly to write off Andreescu just yet after the year she has had.
Her singles career record reads 127-47, which equates to a 73% win record, not bad at all for a youngster just starting her venture into the world of tennis. Whether or not she wins against Serena in the final, Andreescu has arrived.