“The fricking champion of Indian Wells,” Bianca Andreescu screamed. “It’s crazy.”

Canadian teenager Andreescu, 18, was celebrating her upset win over Angelique Kerber 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to win the women’s title.

In doing so she she became the first wild-card winner and second-youngest to claim the title in tournament history.

Now, that is something to remember but what was the key to her victory?

Fourth match point when Kerber netted a backhand. That was key. Because she then broke Kerber three times in the third set, rallying from 3-2 down to take four of the final five games.

Andreescu dropped her racket and fell on her back. She covered her face, almost in disbelief at what she has achieved.

“This moment has become a reality so it’s really, really crazy,” Andreescu told the crowd.

Photo: Chryslene Caillaud

Bianca was born in Canada and later moved with her parents to Romania, where she first started playing tennis.

The rest, they say is history but along the way, she did knock out some form players – Irina-Camelia Begu 607, 6-3, 6-3; Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-2; Austrian Stefanie Voegele 6-1, 6-2; Chian’s Qiang Wang 7-5, 6-2; Garbine Muguruza 6-0, 6-1; Elina Svitolina 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, and then Kerber.

The Canadian followed in the footsteps of Naomi Osaka, who was a little-known 20-year-old when she won the title last year.

When asked about Osaka and the platform the win brought her, Andreescu joked: “No pressure then.”

The loss didn’t affect Kerber’s WTA ranking – she remains at No.4 behind Osaka, Kvitova and Halep – but Andreescu jumped 36 places to No. 24.


Photo: Chryslene Caillaud

And more is expected of the young talent as a new order begins to descend upon women’s tennis.

Her style of play is aggressive – she outpunches opponents from the baseline. And her drop shot is a match winner.

“It’s not moonballing,” she joked after the final. “It’s just hitting heavy to her backhand with more spin. We’re not under 12 here.”

That was shown in her complete domination of Garbine Muguruza in the quarters: a 6-0, 6-1 rout of two-time major champion.

Against Kerber it wasn’t as easy. She had tom overcome tiredness, cramp and stay focused – her coach calling one her to make Kerber play every point.

Photo: Chryslene Caillaud

Andreescu’s performance is more the remarkable because she admitted that at the end she was struggling physically.

“I just fought until the end because physically I wasn’t feeling too well,” she said. Her coach iced her legs and she fought on.

Much to the delight of the large Canadian contingent at Indian Wells, who cheered every shot.

For Bianca Vanessa Andreescu, who only turned pro two seasons ago, there is likely to be more cheering this year where a Cinderella run could turn into a serious charge for a top 10 spot.


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