We are in the midst of another jaw-dropping run by Canadian phenom, Bianca Andreescu.
Never before have I seen a player imbue so much panache in her game.
She’s got it all. She’s got power. She’s got placement. She’s able to run down just about every ball. She owns every shot in the book (and I mean every shot–she very rarely hits the same shot twice).
She’s been thrown the gauntlet of draws in 2019 and she’s thrown the gauntlet back, amassing a 38-4 record as she heads into Sunday afternoon’s Rogers Cup final versus Serena Williams.
Despite all of those weapons, I’d say that the biggest of them all would be her unparalleled willpower.
Bianca comes to win. End of the matter. Time and time again this year, we’ve seen this will to win carry her over the finish line versus the cream of the crop on the WTA Tour.
Wozniacki. Venus. Muguruza. Svitolina. Bertens. Pliskova. Kerber (twice). Andreescu has claimed the scalps of each of these WTA veterans this year, collecting a 6-0 career record versus Top 10 opponents in the process.
The force of her willpower is so strong that it seems to take the racquet out of the hand of her opponent–no matter who is on the other side of the net. In Friday’s quarterfinal match versus Karolina Pliskova, her presence intimidated the Czech into submission. Following her second consecutive win over Angelique Kerber in Miami, the typically cool German was clearly unsettled, calling Andreescu “the biggest drama queen ever” while shaking hands at the net.
However, that’s not to say that the strength of her willpower doesn’t lead to her detriment. She seems to have a tendency to ignore when her body has called it quits, racking up a recurring shoulder injury in the process.
I see a lot of parallels between her and the immensely talented Argentinian, Juan Martin del Potro. Del Potro has often been described to have “a heart as big as his forehand” (his comeback run to the 2016 Olympic Final has to be one of the most heartwarming and heartbreaking runs in recent tennis history). While del Potro has tasted tennis’ ultimate glory, hoisting the US Open trophy in 2009, he has also stomached the pain of missing many years due to injury.
In terms of a career, I think Andreescu’s willpower is a weapon that will undoubtedly lead her to Grand Slam glory in the future. However, I also fear it can affect the longevity of her career if not harnessed by the right team.