Tennis Canada teenager Bianca Andreescu turned heads this week by making it to the semifinals of singles and winning the doubles title at the Australian Open in the junior girls category.
Those who have followed Andreescu’s rise closely aren’t surprised by the 16-year-old’s exploits at Melbourne. Here’s a quick look at her progression.
At the prestigious under-14 Les Petits As tournament in Tarbes, France in 2014, then 13-year-old Andreescu took the crown by beating Claire Liu of the United States 6-4, 7-5. Players who have won this tournament in the past include Martina Hingis and Kim Clijsters. Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski also won the 2006 edition of the girls competition.
A year after winning the U16 Orange Bowl singles title in Florida, Andreescu at 15, took the U18 crown in 2015 by putting away Kayla Day of the United States 7-6 (7), 6-4. Previous Canadians to have won Orange Bowl at this level are Dabrowski in 2009 and Carling Bassett in 1982. WTA greats Gabriela Sabatini and Caroline Wozniacki have also been U18 champions.
In a year where Canadian junior presence in late rounds of Grand Slam tourneys became a regular occurrence, Andreescu added her name to the list by reaching the semifinals of the US Open junior girls’ tournament. It was a familiar opponent, Day from the US, who ousted Andreescu before the American won it all.
The Canadian achieved another milestone in 2016, reaching a career high in the ITF junior rankings at number three.
Andreescu was a threat to win two girls’ Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open, but after losing to top seed Rebeka Masarova in the semifinals of the singles, she had to regroup and lift the doubles trophy with Carson Branstine, who technically represents the United Status, but is “on the cusp” of becoming Canadian and already trains with Tennis Canada.
While it remains to be seen what else Andreescu achieves in 2017, she is expected to compete at home in the Rogers Cup this summer in Toronto. (Get tickets)