Bianca Andreescu is a name you’ve no doubt heard over the past few weeks, but you may not be familiar with who she is. Well that needs to change.

Bianca Andreescu was born on June 16th, 2000, to Nicu and Maria Andreescu. Both Nicu and Maria were born and raised in Romania, with Maria graduating the University of Craiova, and Nicu from Transilvania University of Brasov – yes, that Transilvania. The couple moved to Canada in the 90’s and secured very good jobs.

After Bianca was born, the Andreescu clan moved from Mississauga back to Romania, which is where the young girl began playing tennis. Like most Europeans, Bianca played a variety of sports including soccer, skating, swimming, and more, but it was tennis that really grabbed her at the age of seven. Bianca and her family moved back to Canada after a few years, and she enrolled at the Ontario Racquet Club in Mississauga.

Bibi, as she is affectionately known, joined Tennis Canada‘s National Training Program in Toronto when she was eleven years old. It was here that tennis became much more than a fun hobby, and something she could seriously pursue.

As such, Andreescu began taking part in official ITF tournaments throughout Canada and Europe in 2014 and 2015, while completing her school studies online. She began quickly rising the ranks as a junior but her 2016 was one of ups and downs. She started out the year as a top seed in the Australian Open, before having to withdraw through injury. She was subsequently out for six months, before making a comeback at Wimbledon and being beat in the third round.

A month later, in August 2016, she won her first professional singles trophy at the Challenger Banque Nationale de Gatineau. Throughout 2017 Andreescu won several 25K tournaments and began scaling the rankings at a rapid pace. The same continued in 2018 but more injuries kept her on the sidelines. Alas, fate works in mysterious ways because it was the following year that entirely changed Bianca’s life.

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

At the Auckland Open in New Zealend, Andreescu made the world take notice when she beat Caroline Wozniacki, Hsieh Su-Wei, and Venus Williams en route to the final of the tournament. She may have lost that final but it was the journey that made people start recognising her ability. And it was a mere month later that she won her first 125K tournament and overtook Eugenie Bouchard as Canada’s number 1 ranked female.

Following up her impressive run, Andreescu won her first WTA tournament at the Indian Wells, defeating Angelique Kerber. Another injury then forced her to retire from a match in the Miami Open, where she was blazing a trail through the competition. Injuries forced her out of the grass court season, including Wimbledon, but she was able to make a return for the 2019 Rogers Cup in Toronto.

During the tournament, Andreescu beat Eugenie Bouchard, Daria Kasatkina, Kiki Bertens, and Karolína Plíšková to reach the final. There she faced-off against one of her all-time favourites: Serena Williams. The greatest female tennis player of all-time was forced to retire quite early on due to back problems, thus granting Andreescu her second WTA trophy of the year, and in her home no less!

Photo Courtesy of WTA Romania

As if the year couldn’t get any better, Andreescu then competed in the U.S Open and subsequently won her first majors trophy. And this time, nothing was granted to her; she beat Serena Williams in straight sets in the final. In doing so, Andreescu became the first Canadian to ever win a Grand Slam tournament and firmly cemented herself as Canadian royalty.

Following the monumental win, Bianca Andreescu became a household name in Canada. Last week, Mississauga held a rally to celebrate Bianca Andreescu’s incredible achievement. Attending the event was former city mayor, Hazel McCallion, Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Toronto Mayor John Tory, and Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. Tory announced that September 16th was to be named, and will forever be, Bianca Andreescu Day in Toronto. Trudeau called her an inspiration to all Canadians, both homegrown and immigrants. And Bonnie Crombie beamed with pride as she presented Bianca with the key to the city.

It was a day the young girl says she couldn’t ever have imagined happening. A day in which Canada stood and recognised her as one of the finest athletes it’s ever seen, and a true trailblazer. She is a phenomenal representative for Mississauga and Canada in general, and we can’t wait to see her career continue for decades to come. Bianca Andreescu’s incredible 2019 has resulted in her ranking number five in the world tennis rankings, but a firm number one in the heart of Canadians. She. The. North!