Tough journey back to top of tennis world continues for Mississauga’s Andreescu


Published February 24, 2023 at 10:21 am

The difficult journey back to the top of the women’s tennis rankings continues for Mississauga’s Bianca Andreescu.

The upper echelon of the sport, where the now 22-year-old found herself back in 2019 after shocking the tennis world with a Grand Slam victory at the U.S. Open in New York City, is where she longs to be once again.

And while she’s slowly but steadily climbed the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings since returning from an extended period away from tennis in 2021, the road back to again be included among the tennis elite has been filled with ups and downs.

Andreescu passed Montreal’s Leylah Fernandez, 20, in the WTA rankings this week to become the circuit’s top-ranked Canadian, sitting at No. 36.

It’s the Mississaugan’s highest ranking since returning from her hiatus early last year. Fernandez is one spot below, at No. 37.

If that’s the good news, then Andreescu’s results at her last two tournaments are the not-so-good news.

She was eliminated in opening-round action this past Monday at the Dubai Open, falling 3-6, 4-6 to WTA No. 10 Elena Rybakina, of Kazakhstan.

No shame in losing to a top-ranked opponent in what was a tough first-round draw for Andreescu.

But earlier this month, the Mississauga tennis star let a huge opportunity to win her first tournament since her return escape her clutches.

Playing as the top seed at the Thailand Open, Andreescu pushed her way to the semi-finals, where she was upended by WTA No. 100 Lesia Tsurenko, of Ukraine.

Andreescu’s performance since returning from hiatus has been inconsistent. At times she has looked as if she’s close to regaining the form that brought her success in 2019, defeating higher-ranked opponents on some occasions while in other matches losing to the world’s top players, but playing well.
Other times, the one-time Grand Slam champ has lost to opponents ranked much lower.
In late January, Andreescu advanced to the second round of the Australian Open, beating 25th seed Marie Bouzkova (Czechia) in the first round before falling to WTA No. 86 Cristina Bucsa (Spain) in the next round.

Last October, in what has become a familiar script, Andreescu was once again eliminated from a tournament after racking up impressive victories at the outset.

Andreescu climbed to as high as No. 4 in WTA rankings in late 2019 after shocking the tennis world with her U.S. Open victory.

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