Bianca Andreescu, the Canadian nugget with a "warrior" mentality

Revelation of the season, the 19-year-old plays Saturday against Serena Williams in the final of the New York Grand Slam tournament.

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Bianca Andreescu, in her semifinal at the US Open against Swiss Belinda Bencic, on September 5th. TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP

By 2018, she had not passed any qualifying round in the Grand Slam. A year later, Bianca Andreescu is in the final of the US Open where she will challenge, Saturday, September 7, Serena Williams, sextuple winner of the tournament. "It's unreal to play Serena in the final. It's a dream come true, it's crazy it's crazy "said the 19-year-old Canadian.

"If I had been told a year ago that I would be this year in the final of the US Open, I would have answered" you are crazy ". "

In the semis, she played Swiss Belinda Bencic (7-6, 7-5) in 2 hours and 13 minutes. Andreescu, who had to save six break points to resist the tie-break in the first run, relied on his foolproof mind and the variety of his moves. Led 5-2 in the second set, she lined up five games in a row to stifle Bencic's physical power. " I do not like losing "exclaimed the one who is never better than back to the wall. "She's a warrior", says his coach, Sylvain Bruneau.

Winning return in Toronto

Revelation of the season, the young Canadian of Romanian origin, today 15e was far from offering in 2018 the level of play that it shows today – it will end the year at a modest 178e place in the WTA standings, the fault of a season wasted by the wounds.

Bianca Andreescu will then play in the fall for secondary circuit tournaments in North America. Victories accumulate, trust with. Back on the main circuit, she burned the stages, according to her coach, and reached the final at the Auckland tournament in January, after qualifying. "It all started here, analyze the young player. I managed to keep my momentum up to Indian Wells (victory, in March), which is really the click. "

She then reaches the second round at Roland Garros, but is forced to forfeit a left shoulder injury contracted in Miami a few weeks ago, which then makes him miss the entire season on grass, including Wimbledon.

Bianca Andreescu returns to the courts in Toronto. Return winner, the young prodigy wins the tournament on August 11, taking advantage of the retirement in the final of … Serena Williams. From then on, she became a star in Canada, congratulated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or basketball player Steve Nash.

"She plays a very varied tennis, she uses every stroke, she has a lot of tools in her toolbox. (…) For me, as a coach, it's fantastic "

His current success does not seem to surprise André Labelle, his former coach at the Toronto National Tennis Center, whom Bianca Andreescu joined at age 11. "She was able to hit hard. (…) When she was 11 or 12, she could compete with Felix (Auger-Aliassime, his compatriot, another rising value of Canadian tennis) on the clay. His ball was heavy, he was already a very good athlete », he recalls.

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His current coach does not deny. "She plays a very varied tennis, she uses every stroke, she has a lot of tools in her toolbox. It makes tennis attractive, interesting. For me, as a coach, it's fantastic ", he enthuses, in an interview for The Team.

Saturday, September 7, Bianca Andreescu will be the first Canadian in the Grand Slam final since Eugenie Bouchard at Wimbledon in 2014. But the young woman can aim higher. Already guaranteed to be 9e in the WTA standings Monday, she repeats to the envy that her dream is to"To be world first".

To get close – and if his body does not play tricks yet – the prodigy must already get rid of Serena Williams, victorious authoritarian Elina Svitolina in the semifinals (6-3, 6-1), and more close than ever to match the record of 24 Grand Slam titles held by Australia's Margaret Court.


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