‘I have very big dreams’: Bianca Andreescu striving for more after Rogers Cup win
It has already been a roller-coaster year for Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu, but her Rogers Cup victory on Sunday demonstrated that she’s not ready to get off the ride just yet.
Andreescu took the title after an emotional Serena Williams was forced to bow out in the first set due to back spasms. Rather than immediately celebrate her first WTA Tour victory on home soil, the 19-year-old consoled the 37-year-old American legend.
It was a move that has earned her praise from across the tennis community. Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, called Andreescu an “old soul” for the way she handled herself.
“I knew what to say because I’ve been through that. I mean, we all go through things differently, but I have an idea of what it’s like to be injured and having to pull out of matches,” Andreescu told The National’s Adrienne Arsenault in an interview on Monday.
“I told her that she’s a beast and that she’s going to bounce back really quick. She is a champion on and off the court and she’s an inspiration.”
‘I’m definitely not satisfied’
With the victory on Sunday, Andreescu shot up to No. 14 in the tour rankings. The Mississauga, Ont., native was 27th last week after finishing the 2018 season ranked 178th. She has gone 38-5 this season, and Sunday’s win was her 17th straight in matches that have been completed. She has withdrawn or retired twice during that span because of injury.
“I’m definitely not satisfied. This is an amazing win. This is very special to me. But I have very big dreams and I don’t settle for anything less than what I want,” Andreescu said.
“I really hope that I can crack the top 10 now and play in the WTA Tour finals by the end of the year.”
With big aspirations in mind, Andreescu has worked hard over this past season, and her meteoric rise hasn’t come easy. Andreescu has been plagued with injury over the past year. After winning Indian Wells in March, she rehabilitated a shoulder injury. She was off for two months prior to the Rogers Cup.
WATCH | Andreescu discusses Rogers Cup win with The National’s Arsenault:
The Canadian teen sat down with Adrienne Arsenault to talk about her incredible run at the Rogers Cup. 10:59
“This week has not been easy. I’ve been playing three sets basically every match. I’ve been on court for two and a half hours, three hours every day.” Andreescu told Arsenault.
“I’m actually really pleased with how my body’s holding up, especially after being off for so long. I’ve been working a lot physically beforehand, but, I mean, training and competition is totally different. There’s more on the line during competition and there’s more emotion, but I’m just really proud with how my body held up.”
Preparing for U.S. Open
She’s not taking any chances before the U.S. Open, deciding to forgo this week’s Western & Southern Open in Mason, Ohio. The U.S. Open, which is the final Grand Slam of the season, starts Aug. 26 in New York.
Despite her recent success and time in the spotlight, Andreescu isn’t letting the pressure get to her.
“I’d say there’s maybe a little more pressure,” Andreescu told Arsenault. “But I’m still 19. I still have nothing to lose when I go out there. I’m a perfectionist and I always want to do well,”
“I always want to win. But at this stage in my career, after what I’ve been through with my shoulder and just injuries in the past, I try not to take anything for granted right now. And enjoy every second while I’m on the court healthy.”
While she remains grounded in her work ethic and her ability to come back from injury, her victory at the Rogers Cup has given her a boost ahead of the U.S. Open.
“Now with this win, especially after coming back from being two months off, I think it’s really giving me confidence to do really well in the U.S. Open. I really do believe that I can to do big things there.”