Canada’s Bianca Andreescu, 18, Becomes Youngest Indian Wells Champion Since 1999
At just 18 years old, Canadian tennis player Bianca Andreescu topped three-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1 Angelique Kerber for her first tour title over the weekend. After winning seven matches over 12 days, Andreescu became the youngest Indian Wells champion since Serena Williams in 1999.
“It’s definitely a blur right now,” Andreescu said on the WTA Insider Podcast. “I didn’t get a chance to soak anything in yet. But it’s incredible what I have accomplished this whole entire week – two weeks! I’ve never played a tournament this long before. Being able to compete in front of such an amazing crowd at this incredible tournament, it’s definitely the Fifth Slam. And being able to play against top-level players, it really is a dream come true.”
Though most Canadians couldn’t watch the young rising star on television, that didn’t stop them from heaping praise on her.
“Bianca Andreescu just made history. Congratulations,” Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, posted on Twitter.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 18, 2019
While she was ranked No. 60 before the tournament, Andreescu is now at No. 24. She also more than quadrupled her career prize money, earning $1,354,010 for her victory.
Following the tournament, the WTA Insider podcast sat down with her. Before her win, Andreescu proclaimed that she could win multiple majors and be a World No. 1 at some point. When asked how she stayed focused throughout the last two weeks, she responded: “Yeah, definitely it’s that’s not easy, but I have a good team around me that help me stay grounded and I have amazing parents and friends that do the same. But I really do believe that I deserve to be here and I think I proved that this week. So hopefully a lot of other good things can come in my career.”
Andreescu was then asked if she thought she could win the title when the tournament began. Contrary to what you might think, the 18-year-old didn’t. She said: “No, no, no. Every tournament I go into though, I want to win of course. But no, I really — because in the first round I really I thought I was going to lose that match because I was so shaky from the beginning.”
“But then after I started winning more and more matches I’m like OK I think there’s a really good shot. And like I said I’ve been picturing myself holding this trophy for so long. And everything is paying off and everything is so worth it.”
WTA Insider also asked about her strategy on the court. They were curious how much of her game is improvised versus planned out.
“Well you really never know what your opponent’s gonna bring,” Andreescu said. “But obviously I do have different tactics in the back of my mind. It really depends on who I play, obviously, but my main thing is just changing the rhythm and then see what my opponent does and re-evaluate during the match.”