Just as Bianca Andreescu’s post-match press conference was coming to a close Saturday evening at Arthur Ashe Stadium after her historic U.S. Open victory, media were asked to stay in their seats.
The room was packed with reporters from around the world — being asked to stay around at the close of a press conference isn’t all that common.
Andreescu’s coach, Sylvain Bruneau, was then called forward to the front of the room. He was also presented a trophy. For nearly 30 years Bruneau has been with Tennis Canada — he’s been with Andreescu for two years.
Never had Bruneau experienced something like this. Obviously, neither had Andreescu.
Both Andreescu and Bruneau stood there, smiling with their trophies as a throng of photographers snapped away. Then someone noticed Bruneau holding his trophy the wrong way — he spun it around nervously.
WATCH | U.S. Open champion Andreescu receives superstar treatment:
Bianca Andreescu’s historic U.S. Open victory turns the Canadian teenager into a full-blown celebrity. 2:20
“I’m not used to this,” he joked.
“Get used to it,” Andreescu fired back.
It was a quick little moment that so perfectly summarized the Canadian teenager’s fighting spirit.
She’s fearless on the court and equally as fearless when it comes to letting the world know about her goals when it comes to her tennis success.
WATCH | Andreescu’s coach on what comes next:
Sylvain Bruneau discusses the 19-year-old Canadian’s historic Grand Slam victory and looks ahead to what’s next for the burgeoning tennis star. 8:01
“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 said, standing on top of the Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan on Sunday.
“Let’s say, top three by the end of the year.”
WATCH | Andreescu on newfound stardom:
CBC News’ Greg Ross reports on how the Canadian tennis star is attempting to stay grounded after winning the U.S. Open. 2:13
There’s a long list of staggering numbers that jump out when considering Andreescu’s U.S. Open win.
Not only is she the first Canadian ever to win a Grand Slam, she’s the first-ever tennis player to win the U.S. Open in their main draw debut.
After knocking off eighth-ranked Serena Williams in the final, Andreescu ran her record against Top-10 players this season to a perfect 8-0 – against the best, she plays her best. She’s an astounding 45-4 on the season and has won 14 consecutive matches.
Andreescu is the first teenager to win a singles major title since Maria Sharapova did it in 2006 – she was born nine months after Williams claimed her first major title. By winning the U.S. Open on her fourth main-draw appearance at a major, Andreescu has tied the record for fastest to winning a major title.
She didn’t even watch last year’s women’s final and was ranked 210th after Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams.
“What a difference one year can make,” Andreescu said.
The Mississauga, Ont. native never lost belief despite referencing a number of challenges over the past couple of years – relationships and injuries were two things she said were holding her back.
“Last year wasn’t an easy period in my life,” Andreescu said. “I told myself to never give up. I persevered. I just kept believing in myself.”
WATCH | Emotional Andreescu reflects on historic victory:
Bianca Andreescu becomes the first Canadian in history to win a Grand Slam singles title with her straight-set victory over Serena Williams. 1:45
She turned to visualization and meditation to help her stay focused when things weren’t going her way — leaning on both heavily when Serena was surging and the crowd was roaring during the championship match.
“I really believed I could be at this stage. Since then I’ve been visualizing it every single day. I guess this visualization works.”
Andreescu’s championship tour is in full swing. On Monday, she hit up every major network morning show in America.
The 19-year-old walked onto ABC’s Live with Kelly and Ryan morning show, U.S. Open trophy in one hand, high-fives for the audience members with the other.
After setting down the trophy on the desk and being told by Kelly Ripa it might have to stay there, Andreescu had this response.
“I kind of want to keep this bad boy though,” she said, laughing.
She also had stops at NBC’s Today Show as well as Good Morning America.
“Last night before I went to bed, I just took a moment to be grateful because it wasn’t easy. I mean, I started playing tennis at the age of seven and ever since then I’ve been dreaming of this moment,” Andreescu told host Robin Roberts.
“I’m truly blessed right now.”
Andreescu returns to Toronto on Wednesday.
WATCH | Andreescu beats Williams to win U.S. Open:
Bianca Andreescu speaks to the press after her 6-3, 7-5 U.S. Open championship victory over Serena Williams. 1:01
There’s no flying under the radar anymore for Andreescu.
She’s a household name across Canada and has drawn praise and recognition from politicians to athletes to actors.
It’s not only about her winning the U.S. Open, it’s how she did it and the way she carries herself off the court that has made Andreescu so likable.
While it would be easy for a 19-year-old to get lost in the bright lights of it all, Andreescu is remaining humble.
“I really never thought about being famous. My goal was to become No. 1 in the world. But the idea of fame never crossed my mind,” Andreescu said.
Two years ago, all she wanted to do was make enough money for her parents to travel with her on tour. After this victory worth $ 3.8 million US, her parents Maria and Nicu Andreescu, as well as family dog Coco, now have an all-expenses paid ride for the rest of Bianca’s playing career.
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