At 19 years old, Bianca Andreescu is quickly becoming a household name.
The Mississauga native is the 2019 US Open champion after taking down arguably the greatest female athlete of all-time, Serena Williams, in straight sets, 6-3 and 7-5.
Some even consider Williams to be the greatest athlete ever, period.
What did Andreescu have to say immediately after the biggest moment of her young career, standing inside a venue filled with 20,000 Americans inside New York City?
“I know you guys wanted Serena to win, so I’m so sorry!”
It was the most typical Canadian response you could draw up after an accomplishment that marked a plethora of firsts in the history of the sport.
Andreescu is the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title, the first woman to win the US Open in their debut appearance, and the first player born in the 2000s to win a Grand Slam tournament. Lastly, after defeating Williams, her career record against the top-10 ranked players in the world stands at 8-0. Unprecedented achievements.
In October 2018, Andreescu ranked 243 on the world tennis rankings. Less than a year later, after winning her first career Grand Slam, she ranks fifth in the world.
“At the beginning of the year I wanted to crack the top-100, but I guess I have to start setting my goals a bit higher,” Andreescu told reporters atop the Rockefeller Center in New York City.
It is hard to imagine what the second-generation Romanian immigrant is feeling right now. She has shot into complete superstardom, appearing on high- profile network television shows such as Good Morning America, The Today Show, The View and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
“At the end of the day, I’m still human, no matter what. I have amazing parents that keep me grounded,” said Andreescu.
Andreescu’s parents immigrated from Romania in 1994, and she was born in Canada six years later. She spent her childhood between the two countries. At seven years old, she picked up her first tennis racket. By the time she was 16, she was advised to go professional. Two years later, she made her professional debut.
With no Grand Slams remaining in 2019, tennis experts say it may be too late in the year for Andreescu to become the world’s number one ranked female tennis player.
With or without the Women’s Tennis Association’s ranking, she’s already proven herself as the best. It is just a matter of time before it happens officially.
The year 2020 could be an even bigger one for Andreescu with an opportunity to represent Canada at the Olympics in Tokyo.
After that, anything is possible for Andreescu and her climb to greatness. Bianca has a chance to be one of Canada’s greatest all-time athletes.
Tanner Michalenko/ Sports & Health Editor
Graphic: Shawna Langer/ Graphics Editor