Above photo: Bianca Andreescu. Photo by David Mahussier of 1812 Photography.
Andreescu Ousted In Opening Match
Women’s No. 1 seed Bianca Andreescu of Canada lost in the first round Wednesday to American Lorraine Guillermo 3-6, 6-4, 4-2 ret. Not feeling well on the court, Andreescu was unable to complete the match.
Andreescu went into the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger as the highest ranked player in the women’s draw at No. 184 in the world. The 18-year-old is Canada’s fourth ranked women’s singles player.
Though Andreescu’s time at the tournament was brief, fans who watched her Wednesday saw one of the sport’s rising stars.
The native of Mississauga, Ontario spent a lot of time as a child in Romania, where her parents are from.
“I went back and forth because my mom had work there (in Romania),” said Andreescu. “We did six months there and six months in Toronto. I actually went to school there so I can speak it (Romanian) perfectly. Right now we try to go every year to visit family because most of my family lives there.”
Andreescu learned to play tennis in Romania at age seven.
“My mom just threw me into it,” she said. “I played a lot of sports when I was young.”
Andreescu said a pivotal moment in her career came at age 13 when she won the prestigious under-14 Les Petits As tournament in France.
“I felt like I was on the pro tour because so many people came to watch,” Andreescu recalled. “A lot of people asked for my autograph so it was a nice environment.”
In 2015, Andreescu captured the U18 Junior Orange Bowl title at the age of 15. Her first pro title came in 2016 when she won the Gatineau National Bank Challenger as a 16-year-old, defeating American Elizabeth Halbauer in the final 6-2, 7-5. Andreescu also won the women’s doubles crown in Gatineau that year, partnering with Quebec’s Charlotte Robillard-Millete.
“It was nice to win at home because I had the crowd supporting me,” Andreescu said of her Gatineau titles. “I have a lot of good memories over there.”
Andreescu had a big year in 2017. She captured the Australian Open and French Open junior girls’ doubles titles, made her first main draw at a Grand Slam in women’s singles (Wimbledon) and won two $25,000 Challenger titles on the ITF Pro Circuit.
Andreescu’s partner for her two junior girls’ Grand Slam doubles titles in 2017 was fellow Canadian Carson Branstine.
“We just complement each other very well and we’re good friends off the court too so that helps a lot,” said Andreescu.
Also in 2017, Andreescu became the first player born in the 2000s to beat a Top 20 player when she topped Kristina Mladenovic at the Citi Open in Washington. Mladenovic was ranked No. 13 in the world at the time.
“It was one of the best matches I played,” Andreescu remembered. “It also gave me a lot of confidence, but I’m not going to stop there. I’m going to get better and better.”
Andreescu was named 2017 Tennis Canada Female Player of the Year.
“That was very special for me,” she said of the award.
Andreescu was competing at the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger for the second time.
“Last time I was here was two years ago and I had a good experience,” Andreescu said. “The people here are really nice. The organization is set up really well.”
Canadians At Challenger
Wednesday’s play featured three all-Canadian match-ups on the men’s side: No. 1 seed Peter Polansky beat Pavel Krainik 7-6, 7-6, Filip Peliwo edged Benjamin Sigouin 0-6, 6-4, 6-3 and Frank Dancevic topped Brayden Schnur 6-2, 6-4. With Alexis Galarneau also advancing, Canada has four players remaining of the final 16 in men’s singles. Rebecca Marino in the lone Canadian left in women’s singles.
Filip Peliwo. Photo by David Mahussier of 1812 Photography.
Thursday Challenger Schedule
Four women’s singles second round matches are on tap, including a night match (not before 6 pm) featuring Canada’s Rebecca Marino against American Jada Robinson. All second round men’s singles matches will be played Thursday, with No.1 seed Peter Polansky meeting Lucas Miedler, No. 2 seed Marcel Granollers taking on qualifier Evan Song and No. 3 seed Michael Mmoh playing wildcard entry Alexis Galarneau.
View tournament draws and Order of Play:
Tournament Photo Galleries
View Day 5 tournament photos by David Mahussier of 1812 Photography: