Catching Up with Former Champ Bianca Andreescu (2024)

Recovering from a back injury, Bianca Andreescu paid a visit to the BNP Paribas Open — one of the places where it all began for the Canadian.

And good news, tennis fans. The Grand Slam winner is “feeling much better,” although a tour return is still a while away. She’s aiming for the French Open and also has the Olympics at Roland-Garros in her sights. caught up with the 23-year-old in Indian Wells and chatted about various topics, including her injury, what she’s been up to off court, mental health and books.

First off, Bianca, how are you?

It’s been a crazy seven, eight months since I played my last match (in August). Obviously I’ve been dealing with the back injury but that’s been healed now. I’m basically just starting to train again, taking it easy because I don’t want to make it worse.

The Olympics are this year. It’ll be my first Olympics, so I want to be able to play that tournament. We’re taking it step by step.

I was talking to my friend earlier today. The reason why I play tennis is that I love to compete so much. It’s obviously nice to be here but I would have loved to play. But I’m feeling much better, now that I’m healed. I can play again and now the goal is the French Open. I’ve been training on the clay.

Without playing on the tour, how have you channeled that competitiveness we know you for?

I’ve always kind of been a competitive person, in general, in everything that I do. I always want to do everything to the best of my capabilities. I was doing some media for the tournament with BMW and hitting the serve and seeing how fast I can go. I was trying to get to 90 mph but I couldn’t. But I had 15 or 20 chances to do it. And I just wanted to keep going. So little things like that I can always see my competitive side coming out. But also on court, now that I can start hitting a little more, we’re doing little drills with my hitting partner where we kind of have something on the line. Like a dinner, or like a $100 bill kind of thing, so it helps to keep the motivation up.

You mentioned that you are hitting. Have you been able to play practice sets?

I started training about a month ago, and no, I’m not completely ready to start playing practice sets. We’re hoping in the next two or three weeks that I can start to ramp up. Right now, the main focus is just building my back and my fitness so that when I start playing points, I won’t have any issues. We want to make practice as difficult as possible so that when I start competing again, that matches are super easy. It’s gradual.

You’ve unfortunately had a few injury layoffs. How has this one compared to others?

I was trying to figure that out because I have my good days and bad days. But I definitely feel like compared to my other injuries, I’ve had more good days than bad. It’s nice in a way because I like to travel a lot. So it was nice to travel without a tennis racquet. I like to go to different retreats as well, exploring the other side of life that I’m very passionate about, like the spiritual aspect of everything.

You’ve talked a lot about meditation and visualization. What are you visualizing now?

I actually created a vision board and the main thing on it is me playing the Olympics and holding up a gold medal. I printed up a picture of myself and then a picture of a gold medal. That’s basically all I’m visualizing now and staying healthy every day.

Watching tennis can be tough for players who are injured. How much have you watched?

Not much. I did at the Australian Open a little bit. I followed a little bit of the matches here. The match that stood out was the (Jordan) Thompson-(Rafael) Nadal match (in Brisbane). That was one of the first matches I watched and I remember I posted on Twitter, ‘Like holy crap, what is happening, it’s one of my first matches ever that I watch and plus one of the first matches of the year.’

How much are you still a believer that everything happens for a reason?

Yeah I still am, most of the time. Sometimes it’s hard to continue to believe in the positives and staying optimistic and all of that because of the challenges I’ve been through. But I am grateful to be in this position, I’m very grateful, even though I have been injured. I did accomplish a lot. And I’m still 23. I still have so many years of playing tennis, hopefully. I do believe that every experience I go through will eventually help me at some point in life. I kind of try to look at it that way.

You won here in 2019 as a wild card. Where does Indian Wells rest in your memory bank?

Well, when people ask me what my favorite tournament is, I always tell everyone it’s either Indian Wells, the US Open or the National Bank Open (in Toronto). And it’s honestly not just because I won them. Obviously that helps a little bit but I’ve always, always loved this tournament. Everyone says it’s the fifth Slam. I believe that, too. It’s so beautiful. You get to interact with fans in a different way compared to other tournaments. And everything is good here. The organization, the food, the people. It’s kind of like a tennis mecca. It’s becoming more and more every year.

You’re an author. Any more books on the cards?

Definitely. I was thinking of maybe a ‘Bibi’s Got Game’ sequel. We’re trying to figure out what to do with that. Then at one point, I definitely want to write my own book, whether it’s about my story, or a novel or something. I read all the time so I feel like I have a couple of ideas. I don’t want to rush it but I definitely have a lot of ideas that I’d love to put out there at some point.

Catching Up with Former Champ Bianca Andreescu (2024)
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