Bianca Andreescu, winner of the US Open and star in her country

Bianca Andreescu, after her victory over Serena Williams in the US Open final on Saturday (September 7th). GEOFF BURKE / "USA TODAY Sports"

The Toronto Raptors will have remained the glory of Canadian sport for two months. And then hurricane Andreescu passed, at the end of the summer, making a place alongside the imposing NBA champions, of his height seventy-one.

In the afternoon, Saturday, September 7, on the streets of Toronto and the tennis club-houses, a 19-year-old woman was seen tearing Serena Williams with coughs and loud screaming (6-3 , 7-5), stay deaf to the sound of Flushing Meadows and the challenge of the moment to win the US Open. Bianca Andreescu competed for the first time against the American icon, whose first victory in New York in 1999; at about the time of conception of the Canadian woman by her immigrant parents from Romania.

Read also US Open Final: At 19, Andreescu sensation bends Serena Williams

Andreescu apologized to the American public for preventing Williams from equaling the record of 24 Grand Slam victories still held by Margaret Court. "So Canadian", had fun Twitter account #Cause We're Canadian.

Williams is "Fan" from her, the sorority – a virtue not so common on the WTA circuit – she had shown in the final in Toronto in August, when the American was pushed to the abandonment by an injury.

Then Canada had discovered its round and assertive face, its skin of late adolescence and its casual style, out of college, without being too primed. The anti-Eugenie Bouchard in short, his compatriot whose final at Wimbledon at age 19, in 2014, had preceded a hitherto uninterrupted slide.

"She the North"

Bianca Andreescu's taste for marketing is less assertive than her predecessor in Montreal, to the point that the WTA suggests to her, after her victory in March at Indian Wells, to be more present on Instagram. The young woman has shared on the social network the glass of champagne with family and staff in the evening in New York, to the sound of the tube of the Canadian rapper Drake, Started from the Bottom.

Suitable for a player still ranked above the 150e world place at the beginning of the season, nowo 5, a breakthrough breakthrough and probably unequaled since Jennifer Capriati in the 1990s. She was beaten only four times this year. And what if a sore shoulder did not discard the courts between April and August (only one match ended at Roland Garros)?

Read also US Open: Bianca Andreescu, the Canadian nugget with a "warrior" mentality

"It could be debated for hours on end, but Bianca Andreescu's feat on Saturday afternoon at Flushing Meadows is perhaps the largest in Canadian sport history.", judge Radio-Canada columnist Martin Leclerc. In the country, the participants in the sidewalks praise his tenacity on the court and his offensive game.


"I talk to people who do not normally follow tennis, they are very interested right now. Everyone is talking to me about it », Russ Sluchinski, tennis coach at the University of Alberta, quoted by Toronto newspaper The Star. In the economic capital, Andreescu was given a first slogan, "She the North" ("She is the North"), pastiche of "We the North" claimed by the Toronto Raptors, the first NBA champions in the country's history in June.

"Celebrity, I do not complain about it"

"Bibi" Andreescu comes from Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto, a daughter of Romanian immigrants who left their country with their degrees in the late 1990s. She loves peanut butter and her poodle Coco, accredited at the US Open , often sitting on maternal knees.

Press conferences are for them a place like any other, where she questions aloud the possibility of saying "Fuck", takes the head in the hands and let out his emotions. Saturday night, in the crowded auditorium after the US Open, she burst into tears in the middle of an answer and candidly confessed that her goal had always been to win "A maximum of Grand Slam tournaments and become no 1 world ». "The idea of ​​celebrity has never crossed my mind, but I'm not complaining. I can totally get used to it »admits Andreescu.

"I've said it many times and again, it's one of my goals to inspire people, especially Canadian athletes. So many Canadian athletes showed me the way when I was young. (Former Canadian player Carling) Bassett, (basketball player) Steve Nash, I can quote so much. It is really important to benefit from these examples when you are very young. "

"Never had the slightest problem being a girl of immigrants"

If her idol of the moment is Simona Halep, the no 1 world with whom she frequently trades in Romanian, her native language, Bianca Andreescu did not hesitate a second to represent Canada, where she was born after the arrival of her parents. Asked Saturday about possible difficulties that she would have known in her childhood, because of her foreign origins, she answered very confident:

"Canada is a great country, multicultural, I never had the slightest problem being a girl of immigrants. That's why I love my country so much. It's the same with Tennis Canada, they've been with me since I was 10 years old. Their development programs helped me a lot, and without their help, I would not be here. "

The success of Canadian tennis embodies the diversity of immigration to the land of the maple leaf: to the Romanian origins of Andreescu, we must add the Togolese father of Felix Auger-Aliassime (19e world), the Russian-Israeli origins of Denis Shapovalov (33e and the Montenegrin countries of Milos Raonic (back down to 22e rank).

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The similarities with the popularity of the Toronto Raptors are obvious, while traditionally white sports ice hockey is attracting less interest among the new generation of Canadians. The Raptors, one of the most open foreign franchises in the NBA – she trusted a Nigerian general manager, Masai Ujiri, who led her to the title -, brought together Toronto's minorities, pointed out in June Toronto-born writer of Pakistani origin, Omer Aziz.

"When we sang" We the North, "we meant that, for the first time, this city, this country, this team, belonged to all, he wrote in the New York Times. We were rid of the colonial hangover, and finally seized the share of "swag" that there was in being the stranger, the intruder. "

A status that has perfectly accommodated, with the "swag" that characterizes Bianca Andreescu in the final of the US Open.


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