Bianca Andreescu: The Canadian Sensation Tipped To Strike Gold At The US Open - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Grand Slam

Bianca Andreescu: The Canadian Sensation Tipped To Strike Gold At The US Open

Will the rising star be the person to end her country’s grand slam singles trophy drought?



Bianca Andreescu Toronto 2019 - Twitter @rogerscup

A year ago, it would have been considered a breakthrough if Canada’s Bianca Andreescu managed to win back-to-back matches at a grand slam tournament. Now only 12 months later, some are naming the big time player as a serious contender for the US Open title.


2019 has been nothing but sensational for the 19-year-old, who was born in Ontario to Romanian parents. Prior to this year, she had never been ranked inside the top 100, won a WTA title or even defeated a top 10 player. The rise began in Auckland at the ASB Classic when she stunned the likes of Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki on route to the final. Her first ever on the WTA Tour, which she lost in three sets to Julia Goerges. It was the first major breakthrough for the Canadian prodigy, who enjoyed a successful junior career during her younger years.

Whilst Auckland was a milestone for Andreescu, it didn’t guarantee that success was on the way. The women’s tour are renowned for their stars, but consistency has been an Achilles heel for many players. It was for this reason why Andreescu remained a rising star, but still an outsider. That was until Indian Wells.

Out of nowhere, she burst onto the main stage of tennis at one of the most prestigious tournaments outside of the grand slams. It was at Indian Wells where she claimed her first ever WTA title. Becoming the youngest winner of the tournament since Serena Williams back in 1999. Suddenly Andreescu moved from a newcomer to a force to be reckoned with. It was during that tournament where former world No.1 Martina Navratilova gave her assessment.

“She’s got all the goods – she just believes in herself. What she can improve the most is the forehand, it gets a little off when she gets nervous, physical fitness – that will just happen, she’ll become more match tough.” Navratilova told BT Sport in March.
“She’s got really great hands, knows when to use what shots. Her tennis IQ, shot selection is really outstanding.”

It hasn’t all been plain-sailing for Andreescu, who has been forced to spend weeks on the sidelines due to a shoulder injury in recent time. In fact, she has only played eight competitive matches on the tour since April.

“I had a really good, I guess, a mini pre-season where I was able to focus a lot on my physique and just focus on other aspects of my game. And not only that, but as a person too. I think I really improved a lot of things,” she commented about her injury break.
“So I’m really grateful for that break, and I think all that preparation is paying off.”

The comeback

Embed from Getty Images

Given her time away and lack of preparation, it is rare to name a player who is yet to break the top 10 to win a grand slam title. However, she isn’t an ordinary player. Playing at the most high-profile tournament in her country, the Rogers Cup, Andreescu exceeded expectations. Back-to-back wins over two top five seeds guided her towards the final. Then she ended Canada’s 50-year wait for a champion after her opponent, Serena Williams, retired due to injury three games in.

Regardless of Williams’ retirement, Andreescu’s ability to score a string of wins in her comeback tournament is one few players can manage to do. Within an eight-month period, she has gone from playing her first WTA Final to winning two Premier titles. Inbetween those titles, she had an injury break amounting to almost five months.

“I’m officially a fan,” Williams said of her opponent. “She’s an old soul. She’s only 19. She definitely doesn’t seem like a 19-year-old. Her words on the court. Her game. Her attitude. Her actions.”

Andreescu’s meteoric rise has been compared to that of Naomi Osaka, who also won her first WTA trophy in Indian Wells back in 2018. However is she ready for grand slam glory? Despite her lack of tournaments in recent time, it is hard to say no. The Canadian has played a top 10 player seven times this season and has won all of those encounters.

There is no doubt that the Canadian is a big-time player and looks fearless when taking on the biggest names. It is for this reason why she can’t be ruled out as a top contender. A somewhat surreal statement about a player who wasn’t even ranked high enough to gain entry into the US Open main draw back in 2018.

Andreescu’s wins over top 10 players in 2019

1. Caroline Wozniacki (No. 3) – Auckland Open, New Zealand 6–4, 6–4
2. Elina Svitolina (No. 6) – Indian Wells Open, United States 6–3, 2–6, 6–4
3. Angelique Kerber (No. 8) Indian Wells Open, United States 6–4, 3–6, 6–4
4. Angelique Kerber (No. 4) Miami Open, United States 6–4, 4–6, 6–1
5. Kiki Bertens (No. 5) Rogers Cup, Canada 6–1, 6–7(7–9), 6–4
6. Karolína Plíšková (No. 3) Rogers Cup, Canada 6–0, 2–6, 6–4
7. Serena Williams (No. 10) Rogers Cup, Canada 3–1 ret



Roger Federer Can Win Australian Open, Says Laver

The 81-year-old speaks out about the world No.3.



Roger Federer (@usopen on Twitter)

Tennis legend Rod Laver has back world No.3 Roger Federer to add to his record-breaking grand slam tally in the future.


The 38-year-old currently holds the record for most major singles won by a man at 20. However, both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are closing in on that tally. Djokovic is currently on 16 and Nadal in one adrift on 19 following his latest triumph at the US Open. Meanwhile, Federer has only featured in the final in one out of the last six grand slam tournaments. Doing so at Wimbledon in July where he failed to convert two championship points against Djokovic. His last major title took place at the 2017 Australian Open.

Despite the recent lack of major silverware for the Swiss Maestro, Australian great Laver believes he can still challenge for the biggest titles in the sport. Saying that it is possible that Federer could continue playing until the age of 40.

“He seems to be fine and that’s what counts. If you love the game as much as you do, that’s fine.” He commented on Federer’s longevity in the sport.
“I also give Roger a very good chance of winning the Australian Open again in Melbourne in January.”

Laver admits that it is possible that the two other members of the Big Three could end their careers with more titles than Federer. Nadal is five years younger than him and Djokovic is six. However, he believes there is one thing that separates him from the others.

“Nadal, Djokovic and Federer are all big champions. But Roger surpasses tennis, the world of sport, and sports in general in a way that no one in history has done before him. He is the most recognized athlete in the world and a figurehead for this great game.

The first encounter between Laver and Federer took place 13 years ago in Melbourne at the Australian Open. Since then, the two have formed a bond with Laver saying they ‘clicked’ straight away.

The biggest example of the friendship between the two is perhaps best illustrated by the Laver Cup. An annual team tournament where Europe takes on the rest of the world. Similar to that of Golf’s Ryder Cup. Named in honour of the tennis great, Federer is one of the co-founders of the event. Which has since been granted a place within the ATP Calendar. Although no ranking points are on offer.

This year’s edition will be held in Switzerland for the first time. Critics have been quick to point out the disparity between the two teams. Europe consists of all players ranked inside the top 20 compared to one from the world team. However, Laver dismissed the significance.

“I do not think so. The team World has excelled in both Laver Cups in doubles and also celebrated one or two big victories in singles. I expect it to be exciting.” He said.

The three-day 2019 Laver Cup will get underway in Geneva on Friday.

List of players participating

 Team Europe
Captain:  Björn Borg
Vice-captain:  Thomas Enqvist
Player Rank
 Rafael Nadal 2
 Roger Federer 3
 Dominic Thiem 5
 Alexander Zverev 6
 Stefanos Tsitsipas 7
 Fabio Fognini 11
 Team World
Captain:  John McEnroe
Vice-captain:  Patrick McEnroe
Player Rank
 John Isner 20
 Milos Raonic 24
 Nick Kyrgios 27
 Taylor Fritz 30
 Denis Shapovalov 33
 Jack Sock 208

Continue Reading

Grand Slam

Daniil Medvedev Gave Rafa Fans The Scare Of A Lifetime

Charleston Post and Courier columnist James Beck reflects on the US Open men’s final and what the future might have in store.



NEW YORK — Rafa, you gave your followers quite a scare.


No. 19 looked like it was in the books when you got the first break point of the ninth game of the third set. But it wasn’t, and the second break point flew by as well.

Oh well, it was just 5-4, Daniil Medvedev. There was still time to close out the match in three sets. But after deadlocking the set at 5-5, you won only one point in the last two games of the set.


Settle back, Rafa Nadal fans. It might be a long night.

The men’s final of Sunday’s U.S. Open was going the distance, even though Nadal served with double game points in the decisive 10th game of the fourth set, but still lost the set.

Nadal even served for the match with a 5-2 lead in the fifth set. He lost that one on a time violation first-serve penalty leading to a double fault to end the game.

Was it time to get worried about Rafa getting No. 19 this night? Was this going to be a Serena-like  case of bad fortune for Nadal? Of course, Serena Williams one day earlier had failed again for an all-time tying No. 24 Grand Slam title.

It could have happened to Nadal, too. Anything could have, judging from the way his tall and amazingly agile and quick Russian opponent was playing.


Nadal looked like he had a lock on No. 19 again before wasting two match points with Medvedev serving the ninth game of the fifth set.

Rafa even had to fight off a break point in the 10th game before ending the nearly five-hour marathon with a perfectly place serve down the middle.

He went flat on his back in disbelief, and Medvedev went around the net. The two embraced.

It, indeed, was one of the most memorable moments in the history of Grand Slam tennis.

Finally, a 7-5, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 victory that pushed Nadal’s Grand Slam championship total to within one of Roger Federer’s all-time record.


This was simply an amazing match that left a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium, mostly of Nadal supporters, drained. It was that riveting.

This had to be one of the greatest U.S. Open finals ever.

Medvedev put on an unthinkable display of grit and talent, a sheer desire to win. Medvedev and Nadal  were like acrobats at times as they moved around the court to pull off amazing tennis stunts. Anything was possible because of the two players’ athletic abilities.

Nadal is definitely for real. But if his 23-year-old Russian opponent is for real, as he certainly appeared Sunday night, the Australian Open isn’t going to be a picnic for Federer, Nadal or the injured Novak Djokovic, or anyone else.

And then there’s the French Open where Rafa will be heavily favored to get No. 20 if he fails in Melbourne. Of course, if Rafa plays the way he did in the first two sets on Sunday, he may notch No. 20 Down Under.


What happens if both Nadal and Federer are tied for the all-time lead with 20 Grand Slam titles each?

If they’re deadlocked in another year or two, it might be time for a permanent dual timeout for both players. As sad as such a day would be, it would be a day to celebrate. Co-record holders wouldn’t be a bad way to go since retirement is inevitable for these two great players.

Although Federer demonstrated at Wimbledon and Nadal showed Sunday night, they can still rival the best tennis has to offer, but the rest of the men’s tennis game isn’t going to take a break waiting for these two greats to retire. Medvedev and his likes will continue to close the gap until there isn’t one.


As a result of what happened in Sunday’s U.S. Open final, the days ahead will add even more pressure for both Nadal and Federer each time a Grand Slam rolls around.

Federer already has felt that pressure, both here and at Wimbledon, as he tried to widen his lead over Nadal and Djokovic. Even Nadal seemed to feel some of the same pressure Sunday night while trying to close out Medvedev.

After defeating Federer in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic called Federer “one of the greatest ever” in his acceptance comments after the match. Federer frowned, but Djokovic was right.

Djokovic knows, because he’s not out of the all-time race just yet.

It would be nice if Federer and Nadal could/or would retire at the same time, and join Rod Laver as the greatest men’s tennis players ever. But just not quite yet.


James Beck is the long-time tennis columnist for the Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier newspaper. He can be reached at See his Post and Courier columns at

Continue Reading

Grand Slam

US Open A Ratings Hit In North America

Both the men’s and women’s finals managed to attract some record TV viewing figures.



Bianca Andreescu’s win over Serena Williams in the final of the US Open was the most watched women’s final on ESPN of all time, according to official figures.


The Canadian 19-year-old rallied to a 6-3, 7-5, win over the former world No.1 to claim her first grand slam title. Her triumphed attracted an overnight rating of 2.7 million on ESPN. A 13% increase on last year (2.4) when Naomi Osaka defeated Williams. At its peak, which was towards the end of the second set, the rating was as high as 3.9. ESPN has also confirmed that the 2019 women’s final was their joint-highest US Open rating of all time.

Across the border, Andreescu’s win also made history in her home country of Canada. An average audience of 3.4 million watched her match on TSN and RDS with a peak of 5.3 million. Making in the networks most watched tennis match in history. It is also the most-watched broadcast since the Toronto Raptors won the 2019 NBA Championships. TSN has also noted that Andreescu’s run has helped them achieve a 69% rise in views compared to 2018 to 10.7 million people watching the grand slam at some point. Meanwhile, their digital platforms have achieved a 145% year-on-year rise with 13 million impressions on TSN’s social media platforms.

There was also success for the networks with the men’s final. Rafael Nadal edged out Daniil Medvedev in a dramatic five-set encounter. The Spaniard was leading by two sets, before his opponent drew back to draw level. Forcing a tense decider. Their encounter was ESPN’s most popular men’s US Open final since 2015 and a 33% increase on 12 months ago. It attracted an overnight rating of 2.0. The 2015 clash between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer scored a 2.4 rating.

The strong broadcast numbers coincide with what has been a record year for the New York major. A record 737,872 fans attended the event over two weeks with the Arthur Ashe Stadium managing to have 23 out of 24 sell out sessions. The number doesn’t include the ‘Fan Week’ that took place before the start of the main draw. 115,355 people attended that to bring the overall figure to 853,227.

Continue Reading