World Tennis League: Wimbledon top of the list for big dreamer Bianca

The Canadian made history in 2019 when she beat the legendary Serena Williams in straight sets to win the US Open


Leslie Wilson Jr

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Bianca Andreescu. — Supplied photo
Bianca Andreescu. — Supplied photo

Published: Thu 22 Dec 2022, 1:38 AM

Bianca Andreescu will head into 2023 armed with new goals and big dreams.

The Canadian made history in 2019 when she beat the legendary Serena Williams in straight sets to win the US Open and becoming the first player from her adopted country to win a Grand Slam.

A Romanian by birth, Andreescu is currently competing in the inaugural World Tennis League as a member of The Eagles team which also comprises Nick Kyrgios, Rohan Bopanna and Caroline Garcia.

Speaking to the Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the tournament at the Coca-Cola Arena, Andreescu talked about her what makes her tick and what, sometimes, keeps her awake at night.

“My foremost goal for the new season is to be fit and play a lot more tennis than I did this year,” said the 22-year-old from Mississauga, Ontario.

“Obviously I want to win another Grand Slam, crack the Top 10 win another Grand Slam tournament. The list goes on and on. I definitely dream big and I know I can achieve what I want, so I’m ready.”

Andreescu looked in good shape when teaming up with Indian veteran Rohan Bopanna in the mixed-doubles against Aryna Sabalenka and Grigor Dimitrov (Falcons), despite finishing on the losing side.

Often drawing comparisons to former world No.1 Kim Clijsters, a dual Grand Slam winner and Andreescu’s childhood tennis idol, the Canadian took a six-month break from tennis this year following meniscus in her knee.

She even thought of quitting altogether before realisation dawned on her that tennis was her lifeline. With the help of a form of meditation called creative visualisation, something she has practiced since she was a kid, and yoga, Andreescu worked her way back in to the sport.

“I feel like I getting better every single day, although there are some days that I don’t want to wake up and train because I’m sore from the previous day’s work,” she said. “But I just have to keep pushing myself.

“I have a great new team and I feel like the chemistry has been the best I’ve ever experienced — we’re always laughing and having fun. Which is a good thing because tennis can be pretty serious. I think this vibe in the team overall will definitely help me.”

When asked to elaborate on her ‘big dreams,’ it brought a big smile to her face and her eyes lit up when she said: “Wimbledon!

“It’s the biggest thing in tennis. It is where it all started on grass in England and it’s the tournament every tennis player wants to win. It’s special.

“Its at the top of my list but at the same time I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. To be honest, I rarely played on grass my entire life but I just started liking the surface this year,” Andreescu added.

“I’m definitely not giving myself big chances to win Wimbledon but I do believe in myself and hopefully I can do it.”

Commenting on the World Tennis League, where big-time sport-meets-big-time entertainment, Andreescu said: “You don’t have these kind of tournaments going on a lot, so it’s great for the game.

“This is my first time playing doubles and it’s been real fun. I like the idea of bringing men and women players together to compete. It brings a different vibe to it and for the fans I think it’s awesome.”

It will certainly be awesome should Andreescu, who is blazing the comeback trails, can go on to win Wimbledon in the summer next year.”

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