She was ranked 178th in the women’s singles ranking at the end of 2018. However, with her consistent hard work, exuberant style of tennis and insatiable desire to improve each day, the young Canadian sensation Bianca Andreescu saw a meteoric rise in her stock and is currently ranked No. 4 in the world.
The 19-year-old is now all set to feature in the WTA Finals this week for the very first time in her career. She will take on her idol Simona Halep in her first round robin match at Shenzhen, China.
Andreescu first came into the limelight when she upset Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the Indian Wells final to lift her first the first title of her career, back in March.
The then 18-year-old had begun that tournament just as a hopeful qualifier. Her journey from there to being crowned as champion, going past the likes of Garbine Muguruza, Elina Svitolina and Kerber along the way, was nothing short of remarkable.
Following her fairytale win in the California desert, Andreescu had to miss a major chunk of the middle portion of the year owing to multiple retirements and injuries. But, the Canadian teen, not getting disheartened by injuries, made a grand comeback on the tour, winning the title at her hometown event - the Canada Open.
She then arrived at by far the brightest moment of her career in New York. She breezed past her hero Serena Williams in the US Open final to be crowned as a Grand Slam champion for the first time ever, confirming her rise to superstardom.
At just 19, Andreescu has demonstrated tremendous variety and maturity in her game, combining her powerful groundstrokes beautifully with some smart shot-making to bamboozle her opponents. Her aggressive style of play, where she looks to dictate the pattern of play with some sumptuous from the baseline, is what makes her an extremely dangerous player.
Andreescu's attitude on the court and her ability to rise to the occasion each time when she finds herself under the gun are also equally commendable.
In her maiden appearance at the WTA Finals this year, Andreescu is placed in the purple group alongside Karolina Pliskova, Wimbledon champion Halep and defending champion Svitolina.
While Andreescu has had a remarkable year on the tour so far, she appeared to be suffering from lack of match practice at her only event post the US Open, in Beijing. She lost to Naomi Osaka in the quarter-final, bringing to an end her 17-match winning streak.
Andreescu’s rapid rise has been the most sensational story in women's tennis this year. Her grit and never-say-die attitude have taken her close to the pinnacle of the game, and a win at the WTA Finals would be like icing on the cake - a dream end to what has been a coming-of-age year for the 19-year-old.
Can Andreescu step up to the challenge and stand tall once again? It would be intriguing to follow her journey in the year-ending tournament.