Bianca Andreescu stunned Angelique Kerber in the final of the Indian Wells Open 2019 to win her first ever WTA title on Sunday.
The 18-year-old Andreescu was playing in her second final of the year, having already featured at the Auckland Open where she had lost to Germany Julia Goerges. However, in her first Premier Mandatory tournament final, she registered a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win over the former world number one Kerber.
Later in her post-match press conference, she termed her win as a ‘Cinderella Story’.
And why not. Andreescu was a wild-card entrant into the tournament, five seeded players en route her title. This included a second round win over Dominika Cibulkova, and then subsequent victories over Qiang Wang, Garbine Muguruza and Elina Svitolina before that title-decider against Kerber.
In what was her first ever Premier Mandatory tournament, she had already capped a brilliant couple of weeks in the tournament but to then come back from being a break down in the final set to clinch the title was something else.
“[At 2-3 in the third set], after I spoke to my coach, I just let it all out there. At that point I was really tired, so I went for my shots more, and that obviously worked.”
“The next couple games I did the same thing. And I just fought till the end, because physically I wasn’t feeling too well. Yeah, I fought till the end. I managed to pull through.”
Incidentally, this is the second year in a row that an unseeded player has won the title at the Indian Wells Open. Naomi Osaka was a title-winner last year and that follows the likes of Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters who have both done the same in the past. She is also the first wild-card to win the Indian Wells Open.
What this means is that in the past seven seasons of the WTA Indian Wells Open, the tournament has seen seven different champions including Andreescu. Since the 2013 edition of the tournament when Maria Sharapova defeated Caroline Wozniacki in the final, no player has won the title again.
Flavia Pennetta, Simona Halep, Victoria Azarenka, Elena Vesnina, Osaka and Andreescu have been the champions after that.
Andreescu’s post-match press conference here: