Thousands of people attended a rally for Bianca Andreescu in Mississauga on Sunday where it was announced a street would be named after a Canadian tennis star.
Andreescu unveiled the street sign alongside Mayor Bonnie Crombie before being given an honourary key to the city.
“It’s not very often you have an opportunity to name a street for a U.S. Open champion, so we’re thinking what about Andreescu Way,” she said.
“We are so proud of you and your achievements, and your big U.S. win, your most graceful and modest approach towards embracing your successes has embodied the values of Mississauga, Ontario and Canada.”
Andreescu thanked the audience, her family, her friends and Tennis Canada for all their support throughout her career.
“Well, this is crazy. This is crazy. I never thought I would have my own parade before, let alone the key to the city and a street named after me,” she said.
“I am truly, truly blessed. What’s happening in Canadian sports this year has been so beautiful to watch and so inspiring.”
Several dignitaries, including Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Ontario Sport Minister Lisa MacLeod and Toronto Mayor John Tory, paid tribute to the 19-year-old.
Tory presented a proclamation saying Monday would be declared Bianca Andreescu day in the city of Toronto.
“If you want to ride for free on the subway, you can,” he said in a lighthearted moment.
“She was somebody that all Canadians would want to represent us as Canadians. She was confident, but not arrogant. She was not timid — she was smart and she was funny.”
Andreescu became Canada’s first Grand Slam tennis singles champion after beating Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final on Sept. 7 in New York. She began her career at Ontario Racquet Club on Southdown Road.
— With files from The Canadian Press