Andreescu’s U.S. Open triumph ‘provides a lot of hope’ to young Canadian tennis players: Edmonton pro
It’s a victory that rocked the sports world and now, an Edmonton tennis pro says he believes Bianca Andreescu winning the U.S. Open will send shockwaves through the sport in Canada, to the country’s benefit.
“It’s incredible,” says Ryan Schroffel, head tennis professional at Edmonton’s Royal Glenora Club. “With this being the first-ever singles grand-slam victory [by a Canadian], it provides a lot of hope for other up-and-coming juniors that this is possible.
“We’re seeing an uptake of kids starting to play the game and starting to believe that this is possible and tennis is a great opportunity.”
Andreescu, a 19-year-old rising star from Mississauga, Ont., captured the women’s title at the U.S. Open on Saturday. The victory was particularly impressive because she defeated 37-year-old American tennis powerhouse Serena Williams, who has won 23 grand slam titles.
“[There were] many moments where Bianca had to pull through,” Schroffel says. “She even mentioned at the end of the match that the crowd was against her.
“They were obviously pro-Serena because they were in the U.S., but it’s something that she had to overcome. She had to overcome nerves.”
Along with other Canadian tennis stars like Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger Aliassime, Andreescu is inspiring a whole new generation of Canadians to take part in the sport, Schroffel says.
“It’s a really exciting time for us to be involved in it,” he says.
Schroffel notes that Andreescu’s determination is an example of where believing in yourself can take athletes in sport.
“At this time last year, she was outside the top 180 [ranked players] in the world,” he says. “She came into a fantastic tournament down in Auckland, followed that up winning the Indian Wells (Masters tournament) and then the Rogers Cup on home soil.
“[It’s] very exciting. She’s now moving inside the top 10 in the world, which is incredible to see and a true testament to what work ethic and dedication to the sport and resiliency can do.”
Schroffel said he believes Saturday’s U.S. Open win can help propel Andreescu to continue down a path that could see her “dominate the sport.”
“She plays with a very unique style and that’s something that I believe is going to be the direction in which women’s tennis is going to be going,” he says. “A lot of what Bianca does is she just mixes up the pace.
“She’s got great pace on her shot. She can go toe-to-toe with some of the heaviest hitters (but) she can also change the pace and she can hit more slice, top-spin… she’s also quite comfortable at the net and she can beat her opponents in a number of different ways, which is exciting to watch and inspiring to see.”
Schroffel suggested Andreescu’s win was nothing short of an “absolutely incredible moment for Canadian tennis and Canadian sport.”
“Bianca came into the tournament as an up-and-coming player and people thought she had a good chance of winning, but to actually do it, and to do it against one of the greatest players that’s ever played the game, is truly exceptional.”
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