Name: Bianca Andreescu
Job title: Professional tennis player
From: Mississauga, Ont.
Currently lives in: Thornhill, Ont.
Education: Bill Crothers Secondary School
First job out of school: Babysitter
When tennis player Bianca Andreescu was 15, she made herself a promise of sorts. She had just won the 2015 Orange Bowl, a prestigious junior tournament, and it was the first time in her then eight-year career that she thought she could actually do big things in the sport. “After that tournament, I wrote a check for myself for winning the U.S. Open,” recalls Andreescu. “I kept updating it every year because the prize money kept increasing, and I kept visualizing myself holding that check and holding the trophy. And then, in 2019, I won it.”
Not only did she just win the September tournament, becoming the first Canadian to do so and the first Canadian tennis player to win a Grand Slam title, but she also defeated her longtime idol, Serena Williams, to do it. The win came on the heels of another great display from the player—she took home the Rogers Cup in August after Williams had to withdraw due to injury, making Andreescu the first Canadian to win the cup since 1969. In October, Andreescu became the highest-ranked Canadian tennis player in the history of the Women’s Tennis Association. And this was all in her rookie year. These wins, and Andreescu’s sportsmanship both on and off the court, skyrocketed the teen to fame. She has since sat courtside at Raptors Games and received notes from fans calling her inspiring. Oh, and Drake slid into her DMs.
“It feels amazing,” Andreescu says of her accomplishments, which are especially meaningful considering she was sidelined for four months with a shoulder injury earlier this year. “I’ve always wanted to break records [and] create history, so being able to achieve it means a lot because I’ve been working really hard for this moment.”
And with her renown, Andreescu hopes to help empower other young women in the sport. “I’m so grateful to the legends before me, like Billie Jean King, who had the courage to speak up, benefitting players like me,” she says. “It’s important for us to do that for each other—we women have to have each other’s backs.” Which is especially true when it comes to visibility on mainstream broadcast networks because, despite the success of Williams and Andreescu, women players still receive limited air time on networks like TSN, she says. “I think it’s a bit of both [misogyny and people not knowing],” she says of the discrepancy. “People don’t recognize that women can do it just as well as men can.”
Andreescu may be just getting started, but her legacy is top of mind. “[I want people to remember me as] someone who was able to go out on the court and fight her ass off no matter what,” she says. “[I want them to say] ‘She fought any kind of adversity and she didn’t care who was on the other side of the court. She just did her thing.’”