Andreescu is an almost unanimous choice as female athlete of the year
Bianca Andreescu started the season in the role of a promising young player eager to prove herself among the professionals. She ends the year as one of the headliners of the circuit.
E lle pinned to his list of conquests a string of leading players – Kerber, Venus, Wozniacki, Svitolina, Pliskova and of course, Serena – and the revelation of the year has found a way to shine in moments the most important and on the biggest tennis stages.
Andreescu crowns this unforgettable season with the Bobbie Rosenfeld Prize, awarded by The Canadian Press to Canada’s female athlete of the year.
“When I get on the field, and I know it’s easy to say, but I try not to focus on my opponent on the other side of the net,” said Andreescu. I think it helped me achieve what I accomplished. ”
Andreescu’s list of successes in the past 12 months is long. And it continued to shine throughout the year.
His first coup came in Indian Wells, California, in March. A singles title at the Rogers Cup – the first for a Canadian in 50 years – materialized in August, a few weeks before a historic performance at the United States Open.
In a unique moment in the history of Canadian sport compared to Mike Weir’s Masters Tournament victory and Sidney Crosby’s golden goal, Andreescu defeated Serena Williams to become the first Canadian to win a singles title at a Grand Slam tournament.
“Bianca Andreescu is the only choice for Canada’s female athlete of the year,” said Shawna Richer, director of the sports section of the Globe and Mail. By far the most dominant performance of all athletes, men and women. This year, a big star has emerged. ”
Andreescu almost wiped out the year-end survey of commentators and officials from sports media across the country.
She got 66 of 68 votes (97%), with short track speed skater Kim Boutin and middle distance runner Gabriela DeBues-Stafford each getting one vote.
Golfer Brooke Henderson has won the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award in the past two years. Eugenie Bouchard is the last tennis player to have won this honor, having won it in 2013 and 2014.
The winner of the Lionel Conacher Prize, awarded to the Canadian male athlete of the year, will be known on Friday, and the team of the year will be announced on Saturday.
Andreescu climbed the ranks at high speed to finish the year in 5th place. She started 2019 at 152nd position.
With his fighting style and attack tennis that keeps opponents on their heels, Andreescu has a variety of shots that can be difficult to parry. She has the power to stand up to her opponents who bet on power, but can also use cut balls or cushioning to her advantage.
“I think I’m at a point where I can pick the right move at the right time,” she said. I think this is the challenge I have faced this year, that of choosing the right move in my toolbox at the right time. But I think it is improving and I think I can continue to impose myself on the WTA circuit. ”
Andreescu had to make his way through qualifying a year ago. Presence on the main draw and possibly a seed role in larger tournaments quickly followed.
His performance at the ASB Auckland tournament last January first caught the eye. She got the better of former world no. 1 Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki before losing in the final.
Andreescu won a lower level WTA 125K series tournament in Newport Beach, California later that same month before appearing in Indian Wells.
A victory in the second round against Dominika Cibulkova, then 35th player in the world, and that in the quarterfinal against Garbine Muguruza, in 20th place, allowed her to stand out before her triumph in the final against Angelique Kerber, no.8 world at the time .
“When I beat Cibulkova, I think it clicked because I then played against Muguruza and it was not my best game,” she recalls. I won this game 6-0, 6-1, which is very rare.
“I think from that moment on, I really thought I could win a Grand Slam.”
Andreescu then received his first seven-digit check (US $ 1.35 million) and gained 36 places to climb to 24th place in the world. She became the first player to receive a pass to win a tournament in the most prestigious category on the WTA circuit.
However, injuries have started. Andreescu’s season ended prematurely at the WTA Finals due to a knee injury and her mid-season schedule was limited by a shoulder problem that forced her to give up on her fourth round match at the Miami tournament.
After elimination in the second round of the French Open, Andreescu took revenge at the Rogers Cup. Adored by the Toronto crowd in what was essentially a home tournament for her, she won the title when Williams gave up playing after just four games due to an injury.
Andreescu continued his momentum a few weeks later at the United States Open. She lost only two innings in the entire tournament before winning again against Williams in the final, this time 6-3, 7-5.
“Deep down there is always that thought (where) you know you’re playing against someone who is in the top 5 or the top 10,” Andreescu said. But in these circumstances, I am only raising my level of play, which is perfect, because I have to do it to keep myself with theirs.
“I don’t know how I get there. It’s like that.”
Andreescu has compiled a 48-7 season-long record and totaled $ 6.5 million in revenue.
Aleksandra Wozniak (2009), Helen Kelesi (1989, 1990) and Carling Bassett (1985) are the other tennis players who won the Bobbie Rosenfeld Prize.
Rosenfeld, an Olympic athletics medalist and multisport athlete, was named Canada’s best female athlete of the half-century in 1950.