Bianca Andreescu had thought herself a champion many times and now it’s finally true.
Trailing Germany’s Angelique Kerber 3-2 in the third set of Sunday’s BNP Paribas Open final, a tired Andreescu admitted to coach Sylvain Bruneau she was running on fumes.
“I’m tired…my feet are burning…I can barely move out there,” Andreescu said. “I want this so bad.”
Bruneau urged Andreescu to push through the pain and she won eight of the next nine points. She overcame nerves, fatigue, arm and leg issues in the final set and earned the first title of her career.
An emotional Andreescu dropped her racquet near the baseline and laid flat on her back, soaking in her first WTA title win and becoming the first Canadian to win a WTA Premier Mandatory tournament. After getting up and exchanging kisses with Kerber, the teen bent down and kissed the sunbaked hard court and dropped to her back again, her arms and legs splayed, before grabbing her head.
”This moment has become a reality so it’s really, really crazy,” Andreescu told the crowd.
With the win, Andreescu became the first wild card to win an Indian Wells title in tournament history and the youngest player to capture the crown since Serena Williams in 1999. Her new found title also comes with a $1,354,010 winner’s purse.