Best-ever Wimbledon showing the goal as Mississauga tennis star reaches third round

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Published July 4, 2024 at 3:20 pm

Mississauga's Bianca Andreescu at Wimbledon 2024.

Bianca Andreescu is well aware of the challenge that awaits her on the tennis court at Wimbledon on Friday morning.

More specifically, the 24-year-old Mississauga native is very much up to speed on the opponent she’ll face as she tries to advance past the third round at the prestigious Grand Slam event for the first time.

Andreescu squares off against Italy’s Jasmine Paolini (ranked No. 7 on the Women’s Tennis Association circuit) in a match that gets underway at 8 a.m. (EST).

In her return to competitive tennis at the French Open in late May/early June after a 10-month absence due to a back injury, the Canadian (WTA No. 176) fell in third-round action on June 1 to the 28-year-old Italian.

Andreescu enters Friday’s big match having disposed of both Czechia’s Linda Noskova (WTA No. 26) 6-3, 7-6 on Wednesday in second-round action in London and Romania’s Jaqueline Cristian (WTA No. 62) 6-4, 6-2 in Monday’s first round.

Andreescu, who burst onto the international tennis scene in 2019 with a stunning victory as a 19-year-old at the U.S. Open in New York City, nearly gave herself a splendid birthday gift just over two weeks ago in the Netherlands.

In her second tournament back after being sidelined, the Mississauga tennis star reached the final of the Libema Open before falling to Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova (6-4, 3-6, 5-7) one day after celebrating her 24th birthday.

Had Andreescu downed her Russian opponent (WTA No. 15), it would’ve been her first tournament title since 2019 (U.S. Open).

Andreescu, who has battled injuries and other issues on and off since her 2019 U.S. Open win, was forced to pull out of the 2023 U.S. Open last August after injuring her back.

Following her big win in New York City in 2019, after which she rose to an all-time high ranking of No. 4 on the WTA singles circuit, Andreescu eventually fell on hard times on the tennis court.

A hiatus from the sport followed, with Andreescu not playing at all in 2021, and she’s been on the comeback trail since early 2022. She was also hindered by several injuries prior to her latest back problem.

Beyond Wimbledon, the Mississauga athlete will continue her comeback later this month and into August at the Paris Games as part of a loaded Canadian tennis team looking for its first Olympic medal in 24 years.

It’ll mark the Olympic debut for Andreescu after injuries forced her to pull out of the 2020 Tokyo Games, which were actually contested one year later due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Cover photo: Tennis Canada)

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