INDIAN WELLS, March 12, 2019 (by Michael Dickens)
Bianca Andreescu is part of the Canadian youth movement that is tearing up the BNP Paribas Open alongside fellow teens Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov. Born in Canada to Romanian parents, Andreescu is rising fast in the rankings, and fans of both countries flocking to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden this week in the California palm desert are cheering her success.
“We’re all killing it,” the 18-year-old Andreescu said in commenting on the Canadian success she, Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov are enjoying. “It’s great. We motivate each other.
“We have played so many junior tournaments together, and it’s so nice to see each and every one of us at the top of our game at this stage in our life, only 18, 19, which is pretty incredible.
“I think all that really contributes to our successes. We motivate each other. If one person does well, it’s really nice to see.”
The 60th-ranked Andreescu’s stellar week – part of a stellar year that keeps getting better – already includes victories over 70th-ranked Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania and No. 32 seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, in her first time playing in this WTA Premier Mandatory event.
That performance from @Bandreescu_ was straight 🔥🔥🔥
— WTA (@WTA) 11. März 2019
On Sunday, Andreescu added another victory as she beat Swiss qualifier Stephanie Voegele, 6-1, 6-2. She won 77 percent of her service points and never faced a break point, while breaking Voegele’s serve four times in seven opportunities. Next, Andreescu will face another seeded player, No. 18 seed Wang Qiang of China in the fourth round on Tuesday. Wang enjoyed an excellent Asian swing last fall where she reached three finals, winning one, to end 2018.
Asked during her Sunday press conference if she was surprised by her success at Indian Wells, Andreescu said, “If someone would have told me I would have gone to the third round of this tournament at the beginning of the year, I would have said, ‘You’re crazy.’
“It’s just an incredible experience. This is one of the best tournaments in the world, so I’m just really, really happy.”
Thanks greatly to Andreescu’s 9-1 win-loss record in her last 10 hard-court matches, she’s enjoying a career-best ranking that could lift her into the Top 50 if she beats Wang. Not bad considering Andreescu began 2019 ranked 107th. Now, she’s the highest-ranked Canadian on the WTA Tour.
Since the start of the season, Andreescu is 24-3 in all competitions, including the WTA Tour, Fed Cup, and Challengers. She has wins this year over Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki as well as fellow Canadian Eugenie Bouchard. The Ontario native began the year by reaching the final at Auckland before losing to Julia Goerges of Germany. Then, she qualified for the Australian Open main draw and won one match before losing in the round of 64 to Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia in three sets. A week later, the Canadian teen strung together five wins to capture a $125K WTA Challenger in Newport Beach, Calif. After winning both of her Fed Cup singles rubbers against the Netherlands, she reached the semifinals of a WTA International event in Acapulco while dropping just one set.
Many times this year, Andreescu simply has dominated her opponents. She displays a fearless attitude on the court while playing an attacking game that features big ground strokes. Winning has instilled a sense of confidence in Andreescu that is well above her years.
“I think confidence is everything in a player. If you have confidence, you have better days. If you’re confident in your game, then you just go out there and give it all. I think confidence is definitely one thing,” says Andreescu.
“I think I’m really at the top of my game right now. It’s different playing the challenger level tournaments and the juniors.
“I did have a lot of success in that, too, but it’s different because I’m playing against top-level players. I think if I can continue doing this, gaining more and more experience, playing throughout these tournaments, then I think it only gets better from here.”
Oh, to be a Canadian tennis fan these days. Good times.