On Wednesday night, 15th-seeded Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Canada celebrated her comeback 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 quarterfinal victory over Elise Mertens. Ms Andreescu was in disbelief. She’d never even played a main-draw match at the raucous U.S. Open until this year.
“A year ago, I was in the qualifying round. I remember I was suffering from a back injury, and now what I’ve accomplished this year, I’m honestly speechless,” she said. “I need someone to pinch me right now. Is this real life? Is this real life?”
Ms Andreescu will face the former teen prodigy Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, 13th-seeded, in the semifinals of the tournament on Thursday night.
Until recently, Canada has had a deficit of tennis players who could meet global standards consistently. Only two Canadians have reached a Grand Slam singles final before: Genie Bouchard and Milos Raonic (at Wimbledon in 2014 and 2016, respectively). They both lost, and neither has won a tournament as big as the Rogers Cup — much less Indian Wells, both won by Ms Andreescu. Daniel Nestor won eight Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal in doubles.
One response to “Why some Canadians are watching tennis”
Perhaps if the nation invested in the youth by providing programs and access to facilities (as they tend to do in Quebec High schools), we would have more excellent amateur athletes. Instead, it is left to chance and on caregiver’s shoulders, many of whom are already overwhelmed by the cost of accessing sports, accessing transportation to get to practices and games (eg: if you take the bus it would mean 3-4 hours of travel, and many places have no bus service and many can’t afford a car), the time to invest in practice and so on–then we would also have more people watching the sport live, and on media.