From toil to triumph in Yr: the remarkable rise of Bianca Andreescu
Bianca Andreescu, 18, may be the youngest women’s champion at Indian Wells since Serena Williams Twenty years ago. Photograph: Rob Prange/Rex/Shutterstock
Afterwards she collapsed for the court beneath the Coachella Valley sky plus the roar in excess of 16,000 spectators. “Every time we thought here it is, she won’t have the overall game or she doesn’t have the idea, the legs, she just kept proving us wrong,” Martina Navratilova told BT Sport. “It had been a coming-of-age tournament. That one is here now to live.”
It is a huge stunning rise for Andreescu, who started 4 seasons when the world No 152 but has steadily climbed the rankings after beating Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki to arrive at her first WTA final in Auckland and winning a Challenger-level event in Newport Beach. Her 29 wins in 32 singles matches is easily the most of anyone over the men’s or women’s circuits this holiday season.
Her game can be something of beauty. The level of her powerful groundstrokes off both wings, struck having a pace belying her 5ft 7in frame, is enhanced by using a deft command of spin that keeps opponents off balance. Her power to switch from defence to offence flows from her footwork and mobility. This wounderful woman has, as we say, all of the shots.