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Staying in the present, Bianca Andreescu is authoring a stunning rise to the top of women's tennis

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 15 Mar 2019
  • Andreescu started the season outside the the world's top 170
  • She's set to climb into the top 40 with a bullet after making the Indian Wells semi-finals
Bianca Andreescu (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Bianca Andreescu is the talk of the tennis world after her stunning start to 2019 - but just who is the Canadian teenage sensation and what’s behind her sudden and rapid rise up the rankings?

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Born in Mississauga, Ontario, Andreescu spent half of her childhood in Romania - where her parents were born - before moving back to Canada just before her teenage years.

It wasn’t long before Andreescu began turning heads at the National Training Program in Canada, and in 2014 and 2015, she won prestigious junior tournaments at the Les Petits As and Orange Bowl. Named the Outstanding Junior Female of the year by Tennis Canada at the end of 2015, Andreescu seemed destined for junior Grand Slam glory the following season, but she was hit hard by injuries, spending time on the sidelines for a variety of problems, including adductor, ankle and foot issues.

But Andreescu wasn’t going to be kept down for long, and in 2017 she began making waves at WTA level, becoming the first player born in the 2000s to beat a top 20 player when she took out Kristina Mladenovic on her way to the Citi Open quarter-finals in Washington D.C. - her first wins at tour-level. Earlier in the season, Andreescu won a second junior Grand Slam doubles title with countrywoman Carson Branstine, but she was already in the midst of leaving the junior circuit behind as her immense talent was seemingly propelling her towards the top 150 and beyond.

However, injuries once again held Andreescu back in 2018 - she was forced off court on a wheelchair during a Fed Cup match against Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko in April, while she missed three months of action after suffering a back injury in Grandby, ending the year at No. 178 in the world after a successful return to the court, winning a pair of ITF titles in October and November.

While she ended 2018 on a positive note, nobody could have predicted the stunning rise Andreescu has put together over the first two-and-a-half months of 2019. The powerful 18-year-old has won a total of 26 matches in all competitions (more than anyone on tour), starting the season by qualifying for the ASB Classic in Auckland and making it all the way to her first WTA Final, beating Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams along the way before going down in three sets to Julia Goerges. With barely any rest, Andreescu went on to qualify for her first Grand Slam main draw at the Australian Open and made the second round, while she picked up the WTA $125k Series title in Newport Beach in her next tournament, taking out compatriot and former teenage prodigy Eugenie Bouchard along the way.

Bianca Andreescu (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Andreescu would go on to win a pair of Fed Cup matches for Canada against Netherlands, before reaching the semi-finals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco, losing to fellow rising star Sofia Kenin in three sets. While that was an eye-catching start to the season, again, nobody was really prepared for Andreescu to do what she’s done so far in her debut at a Premier Mandatory tournament in Indian Wells, with the teenager coming from a set down to beat Irina-Camelia Begu in the first round before posting straight sets victories over Dominika Cibulkova, Stefanie Voegele, Qiang Wang and Garbine Muguruza, conquering the latter - a former No. 1 and two-time major champion - by a crushing 6-0 6-1 scoreline in less than an hour.

After starting the season at No. 178 in the world, Andreescu is set to rise comfortably into the world’s top 40 in the next WTA rankings. It’s been a truly meteoric rise to the top of women’s tennis in the blink of an eye, but what does Andreescu credit to her blistering form?

“My mom introduced me to [meditation] when I was really young,” Andreescu revealed after beating Muguruza. “I was maybe about 12. Ever since then I have been meditating and I do a lot of yoga.
“I don't only work on my physical aspect. I also work on the mental, because that's also very, very important. It's definitely showing through my matches where I'm staying in the present moment a lot of the time. I don't like to focus on what just happened or in the future.
“I wake up every morning and the first thing I do is I meditate,” she explained. “I think it really helps me get a good jump-start to the day. Not opening my phone or anything, not getting too overwhelmed.
“I take 15 minutes every morning just to get in tune with my body, my mind. I visualize myself having a good day, like, stuff like that.
“I feel like a lot of people work on the physical part of things, but I think the mental part is the most important because it controls your whole body, right?”

Can’t argue with her current results!

Andreescu will look to continue her stunning run in the Californian desert when she takes on reigning WTA Finals champion Elina Svitolina in the semi-finals on Friday night.

Check out a full preview of the match here.

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Staying in the present, Bianca Andreescu is authoring a stunning rise to the top of women's tennis

Bianca Andreescu is the talk of the tennis world after her stunning start to 2019 - but just who is the Canadian teenage sensation and what’s behind her sudden and rapid rise up the rankings?

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