A Canadian team captured the NBA title for the first time ever this summer, defeating a heavily favoured opponent loaded with superstar talent.
It happened once. Will it happen again?
Just as Canada cheered on the Toronto Raptors‘ championship run under the slogan “We the North,” Canadians are now getting behind 19-year-old tennis star Bianca Andreescu, who will face the legendary Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.
Canada’s rallying cry for Andreescu should sound familiar: It’s “She the North.”
The young woman from Mississauga, Ont., made history on Thursday by becoming the first-ever Canadian to reach the U.S. Open final, setting her up for a showdown with Williams. Andreescu could win the first Grand Slam title of her career on Saturday.
“You’ll have a whole country with you tomorrow,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted at Andreescu on Friday morning, adding the hashtag #SheTheNorth.
“Congratulations!” wrote Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Twitter. “What an amazing, historic achievement!”
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Canadian women’s hockey player Erin Ambrose hailed Andreescu on Twitter Friday for her semifinal victory over Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.
“The fight in this girl is UNBELIEVABLE,” Ambrose wrote. “What an incredible match. Composed through it all and FINALS bound … A nation is behind you.”
Andreescu’s hometown of Mississauga has been cheering her on throughout her U.S. Open run.
“Congrats for making history once again!” the city tweeted.
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“I bet you can hear Mississauga cheering you on all the way from New York!” added Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “One more match to go.”
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Many users shared a photo of Andreescu leaning back after a win on Wednesday, hands behind her head and a big smile on her face.
“She the North,” they wrote.
Andreescu won the Rogers Cup title in Toronto last month after Williams bowed out of their final match due to a back injury. The two shared a friendly moment on the sidelines after Williams threw in the towel.
WATCH: Bianca Andreescu discusses her Rogers Cup moment with Serena Williams
Andreescu’s win made her the first Canadian to win the Rogers Cup since 1969.
However, it didn’t clear up the question of whether she could beat Williams. That question should be answered on Saturday.
Williams is arguably the greatest player in women’s tennis history, and a win on Saturday would give her a record-tying 24 Grand Slam singles titles. The 37-year-old dominated en route to this U.S. Open final, but she has lost five of her last Grand Slam appearances and hasn’t won a major title since the birth of her daughter in September 2017.
“There’s so many different emotions in finals,” Williams said after her own victory on Thursday night. “It just brings out so many highs and lows, nerves and expectations. It’s a lot.”
READ MORE: Bianca Andreescu wins the Rogers Cup
Meanwhile, Andreescu has a chance to do what fellow Canadians Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic could not: she can win a Grand Slam. The peak of Bouchard’s career remains a 2014 loss in the Wimbledon final. Raonic reached the Wimbledon final in 2016 but he also ended up losing.
“It’s just surreal,” Andreescu said on Thursday after her semifinal win. “It’s a dream come true playing against Serena in the finals of the U.S. Open. I don’t know what to say. It’s crazy.”
WATCH: Canadian Fed Cup captain says Bianca Andreescu has ‘all court’ game
Some Twitter users are already getting ahead of themselves about a potential Andreescu victory, with plans to pass on a title they gave Kawhi Leonard after the Raptors’ victory.
“The Queen of the North,” they’ll call her. “The Queen of the North!”