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Andreescu makes Canadian tennis history


What a year 2019 is turning out to be for Canadian sports.
First the Toronto Raptors mesmerized the country on their way to the first NBA championship in club history.
Now Bianca Andreescu brought tennis to the forefront of the national sporting scene with her run at the U.S. Open, culminating with her winning the Grand Slam event when she defeated Serena Williams in straight sets.
Andreescu made history on so many fronts.
Not only is she the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles event, she is the first player born in the 2000s to win a Major and the first woman in the open era to win the title in her U.S. Open debut.
At last year’s U.S. Open, Andreescu didn’t make it past the qualifying round. This year, she is the champion.
Andreescu began the year ranked 152nd in the world and her goal was to crack the top 100. After her win at Flushing Meadows, the Mississauga, Ont., native was ranked fifth.
The U.S. Open title is the third tournament win for the 19-year-old, who also won at Indian Wells and the Rogers Cup on her home soil just a few short weeks ago. That is more title than any other Canadian in the modern history of the Women’s Tennis Association.
Just how hot is Andreescu? Other than forfeits due to injuries, she hasn’t lost a match since March and is 8-0 this year against players in the Top 10.
Maybe the best part of the post-match celebration was during the awards ceremony when Andreescu proved she is a typical Canadian, apologizing to the mostly pro-Williams crowd, stating, “I know you guys wanted Serena to win so I’m so sorry.”
With the rise of up-and-coming young stars such as Eugenie Bouchard, Denis Shapavolov, Milos Raonic, Felix Auger Aliassime and Vasek Pospisil, the future of Canadian tennis is certainly a bright one.
And after Andreescu’s success this year, there will undoubtedly be a new crop of tennis stars coming up in a few years.
As for Williams, she was denied a chance to tie the record for most Grand Slam tournament wins and drew criticism for her comments after the match when she said, “I love Bianca, I think she’s a great girl, but I think this is the worst match I’ve played all tournament.”
Fans on social media criticized Williams for not giving Andreescu the credit she deserves in winning the match and they may be right.
Andreescu dominated the match, overpowering Williams again and again, especially in the first set.
The last time the two faced each other on the court was in the final at the Rogers Cup in Toronto a few weeks ago. Andreescu was leading in the first set, 3-1, when Williams retired due to injury.
I can’t help but wonder, if this tournament was anywhere else other than in the U.S., if Williams would have retired again rather than face another defeat?

Doug Zywina