Bianca Andreescu: Keep fighting for your dreams

Updated: Sep 09, 2019, 08:09 IST | Agencies

The triumph of Bianca Andreescu, 19, who outclassed former champ Serena Williams for her maiden US Open singles crown, is a life lesson

Bianca Andreescu: Keep fighting for your dreams
Canada’s Bianca Andreescu with the winner's trophy after beating Serena Williams in the US Open final in New York on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images

This time last year, a despondent Bianca Andreescu, who conquered Serena Williams 6-3, 7-5 in Saturday's US Open women's final here, was at home nursing an injury and coming to terms with a second successive failed attempt at making the main draw in New York.

"It's definitely a process of life. You're never going to have ups all the time. So I think in those moments, you just have to deal with it the best that you can, which is to just keep fighting for your dreams and just stay as persistent and persevere as much as you can," Andreescu said. "I know in those moments you feel like you can't. But if you believe that there are good times ahead, then those tough moments are definitely worth it. I think it builds your a character.

I think everyone should go through it because it just makes you stronger."

Twelve months on and the Andreescu, 19, was hoisting aloft the US Open trophy as Canada's first Grand Slam singles champion, and the youngest major winner since Svetlana Kuznetsova here in 2004.

'Thank you, guys'

She credited Carling Bassett (the last Canadian woman to reach the US Open semi-finals in 1984) and basketball great Steve Nash as motivating her as a young athlete. "Bassett was very inspirational…Steve Nash...I can name so many. But it's really nice for people to have that inspiration at a really young age," said Andreescu.

"So when I step on the court, I just really try to show my best character, just to have that good example for other players. Like I said many times, if I can do it, if Serena can do it, if Roger [Federer] can do it, if Steve Nash can do it, then anyone can do it."

That fake cheque moment

At 16, Andreescu wrote herself a fake cheque — a mock-up of the one given to the US Open champion, reported the BBC yesterday.

"For it to become a reality is crazy," she said after conquering Williams. One Saturday, the Canadian took home $3.85 million, taking her 2019 earnings to over $6 million. She started the year with career winnings of just $215,888.

Andreescu, just the second Canadian woman to play in a Grand Slam final after 2014 Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard, reiterated her commitment to serving as an inspiration for aspiring athletes back home. "I've said this many, many times before. I'm going to say it again. It's been a goal of mine to inspire many people, especially Canadian athletes," said Andreescu, who was born in Toronto's suburbs to Romanian parents.

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