How about that for a debut season on the WTA Tour? Bianca Andreescu did not even need time to transit onto the main tour as she rose more than 100 spots from her 2018 year-end ranking of 178 to end this year as the world number five with a maiden Major title. An outrageous 46-7 win-loss record throughout the entire season saw the 19-year-old captivating all the attention — lifting one WTA 125k title, one Premier 5 title, one Premier Mandatory title and one Grand Slam title.
From an unknown teenager to having a street in Canada named after her, Andreescu rose to fame and looked unstoppable with her all-rounded game proving to be too good for the rest of the tour. The Canadian did not suffer a straight-sets loss during the year and has a dominating 8-3 win-loss record against top-10 players this year. She became the first tennis player in history to win the Lou Marsh Trophy, a prestigious award in Canada given to the top athlete of the year.
High Points: Impressive throughout the entire year
Ranked 152nd at the start of the year, Andreescu started the season at the ASB Classic. She survived the qualifying rounds before stunning four higher-ranked opponents in the main draw to reach her first tour-level final. The youngster was forced to battle through two-hour battles against world number three Caroline Wozniacki and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams en route but fell to Julia Goerges in a tightly-contest three-set eventually.
She made her debut at the Australian Open, qualifying for the main draw after dropping just seven games in the process. Andreescu’s red-hot form continued when she became the highest-ranked Canadian with a triumph at the WTA 125k event in Newport Beach, beating compatriot Eugenie Bouchard in the quarterfinals.
A huge leap in the rankings saw Andreescu making her top-100 debut at the 68th spot and soon made another semifinal at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel. Little did anyone know that a wildcard into the BNP Paribas Open in the following week would change her entire career.
Her miraculous run first started with a three-set defeat of Irina-Camelia Begu before sailing through her next matches; including a 6-0, 6-1 thrashing of Garbine Muguruza. Back-to-back top-10 wins came over Elina Svitolina and Angelique Kerber as Andreescu fought through the physical battles to lift the Indian Wells title.
Coming back from a lengthy injury lay-off, Andreescu returned with a bang. A tour-leading 17-match winning streak followed as she prevailed at home in Toronto, defeating two top-five players and clinched the title with a retirement win over Serena Williams in the final. Her dominance was extended into the US Open, where she made her main draw debut. She made it two consecutive wins over Williams as she completed the fairytale for her first Slam title.
Her winning streak ended in the quarterfinals of the China Open, where she played in her first Asian WTA tournament. She ended the year at a career-high ranking of five, winning three main tour titles and barely defending any points during the middle of the season.
Low Points: Health proves to be her toughest opponent
If we could find one flaw in Andreescu’s season, it would be her health. Her shoulder started to be a bother when it forced her to retire from the fourth round match in Miami, ending her stunning North American hardcourt run. That injury kept her out of the entire clay season and made a rookie’s mistake of trying to rush her comeback at the French Open, where she needed to give a walkover in the second round.
Determined to end her season on a high after qualifying for the prestigious WTA Finals on her first attempt, Andreescu’s health had other ideas once again. What could have been a perfect season ended a three-match losing streak, losing three consecutive matches against top-10 players as she battled Naomi Osaka in a highly-anticipated encounter at the China Open before the slow courts in Shenzhen took a toll on her body, forcing her to withdraw before her last scheduled match.
Season Grade: A+
Andreescu would be extremely pleased with how this season has gone. An 18-year-old with a ranking of 152 and barely any experience on the WTA Tour, Andreescu has evolved into a Grand Slam champion and a force not to be reckoned with. After this debut year, the Canadian will be placing her focus on smart scheduling and her health next year, where she aims to bring back the Olympics gold medal for her country.