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Bianca Andreescu wins Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete | EXTENDED INTERVIEW

Bianca Andreescu wins Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete | EXTENDED INTERVIEW


[Devin Heroux] Bianca, congratulations. You’re the Canadian athlete of the year. How does that sound? [Bianca] It sounds pretty good. Having my name amongst all these amazing athletes is just surreal so I’m super grateful for everyone that voted for me. It’s one of the big biggest achievements I’ve accomplished definitely. A unanimous vote. The first ever. What does that tell you about the year you had? Yeah, this year has just been crazy all around. Many ups and downs especially with injuries, The downs, I mean injuries, right? Because when I was on court I’ve just been doing my thing and I’m just super happy with how my body did hold up because this is my first full year on tour. But I’m just beyond proud and yeah let’s let’s keep it going right? What were you doing a year ago right now? I was playing a 25k in Kansas and I was ranked like 175 in the world. [Devin] When you think about that — [Bianca] I know — [Devin] And think about the headspace you were in. You’ve been pretty vulnerable. I’ve heard you talk a lot throughout this journey about some of those low spots about the visualization about always having to believe in yourself maybe when others around you didn’t. So where were you, where was your head space? I was definitely not in the best headspace because I didn’t feel like I was improving much and at that time I was also injured with my back so after that stretch I actually won a tournament which gave me a little bit of confidence going into my preseason and then when I stepped into my preseason I was killing it really. Every match I played I was playing my best tennis. I was feeling really good physically too because I found out a couple things about my body, about myself. That’s what happens when you get injured . You want to find different ways to approach different things and then I had that good pre-season and in January came along and I think all that hard work at that time really contributed to the success I’ve had. [Devin] You have an incredible ability to show empathy. Do you think that comes from the journey you’ve had in life? [Bianca] Yeah, it definitely wasn’t an easy journey because I’ve been through a lot of things like with relationships injuries, career, life literally everything. So I would say that I’m a pretty compassionate person because I can kind of put myself in other people’s shoes. I know people think differently but the least you can do is try and I can kind of feel for them as much as I can. So I just try to be nice to everyone I mean because you never know what they’re going through. {Devin] Let’s talk about the U.S. Open. I had a front-row seat to that experience. You’re on the court, you’re in that moment. You’re stepping out there against the greatest of all time in the U.S. Open final. What are you thinking as you step into Arthur Ashe? The Tennis Coliseum. Something you had dreamed about, Bianca. Yeah, well, let’s go back to Rogers Cup because I kind of had the sense of how it was to play her or how would be again to play her at the U.S. Open but I kind of had that experience at Rogers Cup. I remember at Rogers Cup I started bawling before the match because so many emotions were going through my head. It was hometown game. I was playing against the best of all time. And then going into U.S. Open I kind of knew how to deal with that a bit better. So I was a bit more calm. I know it’s a whole other circumstance. A Grand Slam, it’s way different. But I think I controlled my nerves really well before the match. During the match, took me a while to control them and to just stay as composed as possible because the crowd was obviously — [Devin] It was crazy in there. [Bianca] It was crazy. [Devin] I think you plugged your ears at one point? [Bianca] I did, that’s when she was having her comeback. People just were probably praying for a third set or something. [Devin] Is that the most hostile situation you ever played in? [BIanca] I mean that’s a pretty intense word but yeah it’s definitely the craziest atmosphere. It’s one of the biggest stages in tennis. One of the biggest crowds. Lover of sports too. But I did hear a lot of Canadians out there and I don’t think if it i If it wasn’t for them then I don’t think I would have accomplished what I’ve accomplished. [Devin]You ripped the forehand winner, you grab your face. You’re probably in disbelief. When you have a moment and you collapse to the court and you’re laying there what are you thinking about? [Bianca] I was thinking about was all those tough times that I’ve been through and just realizing how much like dedication and hard work I put into this sport and how all those times are worth it really. Like you said I was in disbelief at that moment but when I just laid on the ground I just let everything out. And it was just an incredible moment. My parents were there. Coco was there. My whole team, my best friend too. So it was really good moment for me. You have talked about at one point the goal was to win enough money to have your parents be able to come and watch you play and then of course as things progressed the goals probably changed but the constant has been your parents love and support? Maybe a word on what they mean to you. Yeah, hundred percent I look up to them a lot. They came to Canada like 25 years ago, immigrated from Romania with literally two luggages, one each. And to see what they’ve become from coming from that to this is just incredible. They’re definitely the strongest people I know. They’ve taught me everything I know now so I definitely dedicate all of my success to them because they’ve sacrificed so much and all I can say is that I love you guys. [Devin] You visualize a lot? What have you seen in your future? Well before the U.S. Open I actually visualized myself holding that trophy. I wrote myself a check of that tournament back when I was 15 and I’ve just kept visualizing that because I really believe in manifestation. So I guess now my next goal would be to visualize the Australian Open trophy and becoming number one in the world by the end of next year. I think it’s I think it’s definitely possible if I stay healthy. [Devin] That’s the goal. [Bianca] Yep, heard it here first. [Devin] And the Olympics? [Bianca] Oh my gosh and the Olympics. How can I forget. It’ll be my first Olympics if I make it, hopefully I make it. I’m gonna do my best to make it because I’ve been watching every Olympics ever since I was a little girl. Just the atmosphere I hear from so many athletes that I’ve played it they say that it’s the best moment. Best environment, best everything that’s ever happened to them. So if I make it it’ll be a really cool experience, I’m sure. [Devin] What’s it like to be Bianca Andreescu today? I don’t think I changed personally. I’m definitely more conservative in some ways. I have to be careful who I let into my life. Definitely getting more media attention. It can be pretty overwhelming but I have amazing people around me that helped me stay grounded. They don’t treat me like I’m Bianca Andreescu the professional tennis player. They just treat me like Bianca. [Devin] A memorable year, congratulations Bianca. [Bianca] Thank you, I appreciate it.

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