WASHINGTON, April 6, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
A year ago, Bianca Andreescu of Canada was beginning to make a name for herself on the WTA Tour, first by winning the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and later by capturing her first Grand Slam title, winning the US Open. By the conclusion of the season, she achieved a year-ending Top 5 ranking. Now, with tennis grounded by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the native of Mississauga, Ontario, has come back to Canada – she’s at home with her parents – where she’s recognized as more than just a global tennis star.
Last week, Andreescu, just 19, reached out to speak to a younger generation of Canadians, many who are experiencing stress and difficulty in adapting to staying at home during the crisis. In a nearly-five-minute appearance on Canada’s CTV network, she told chief anchor and senior editor Lisa LaFlamme that she’s spending her time attempting to “be as productive as I can right now during this tough time.” That includes meditating and creating music.
“That’s how I stay as grounded as possible, and as positive as I can, because it helps me stay in the present moment,” Andreescu explained, “and it helps me stay in touch with my mind and whole body.”
During her conversation with CTV, Andreescu spoke in a heartfelt tone of voice to Canada’s youth, stressing virtual communication as a means of helping to slow the spread of coronavirus.
“The one thing they can do that will eventually stop this pandemic is to stay home as much as possible. We are all connected, if something affects someone it eventually affects another person,” she said.
Andreescu added: “I’m an only child so I love hanging with my friends. But now thanks to FaceTime and other technology we have the luxury to talk to our friends. We’re all in the same boat.”
— CTV News (@CTVNews) April 4, 2020
Just holding a tennis racquet …
With many if not most public tennis courts shuttered worldwide because of the novel coronavirus pandemic and no where to practice – and with no live pro tennis to watch for the foreseeable future – many are finding solace at home in online tutorials as a means for keeping their skills sharp.
From “Any court in a storm,” Genevieve Bates of the London-published Monocle magazine writes in its online “The Monocle Weedend Edition” newsletter about Croatian-born coach Nick Aracic, whose Intuitive Tennis tutorial includes “How to practice tennis at home: off-court tennis drills.” Indeed, as one can see, it’s possible to to stay fit inside one’s home, flat or apartment by doing some simple drills and expertises that cover topics areas such as strength, footwork and hand-eye coordination. Whether one become the next Roger Federer or Ashleigh Barty is … well … another matter. However, just the chance to hold a tennis racquet in one’s hand during pandemic times is definitely a win-win thing.
Keeping up with Rafael Nadal
On Saturday, men’s World No. 2 Rafael Nadal released an Instagram video showing how he’s passing his time at home during the coronavirus lockdown: playing patio tennis with his sister Maria, improvising with a couple of garden chairs in lieu of a net.
A year ago: Barty’s Miami title was a fresh change
Ashleigh Barty dominated Karolina Pliskova over the duration of their one hour and 39 minute final, the first in the Miami Open’s 35-year history to be held at Hard Rock Stadium, and won easily, 7-6 (1), 6-3, for her first WTA Premier Mandatory title. Barty finished with plenty of energy as she won what was then the biggest title of her career. It improved her win-loss record to 18-3. (Barty would go on to win the French Open. She finished the year 59-14 in all competitions.)
“Amazing, isn’t it?,” said Barty during her post-match press conference after the trophy ceremony.“On the women’s side, I think the level has evened out a lot, and the depth has grown over the last few years. Everyone in the draw has a legitimate chance of winning the tournament, and you try to make the most of it.”
With the completion of the 2019 Sunshine Double – Indian Wells and Miami – it prompted New York Times tennis correspondent Christopher Clarey to write on Twitter: “Getting to be an old timer, and I have to say it’s a reassuring treat to see all-court tennis and tactical variety rewarded with Bianca Andreescu winning Indian Wells and Ash Barty winning in Miami.”
— WTA (@WTA) April 5, 2020