Bianca Andresco’s extended break from tennis has served him well.

Bianca Andresco’s extended break from tennis has served him well.

ROME – Bianca Andresco’s first Italian Open quarterfinals in the guise of a tennis star against the steam roller Iga Swiatek had just stopped.

But even after failing to stop top-ranked Svetlak from extending their winning streak to 26 matches, Andresco was still sitting in the Roman sun with a wide smile on his face.

Defeat at this stage is not as difficult as defeat at other stages of his career.

Andresco said in an interview after his defeat, 7-6 (2), 6-0 on Friday, “Honestly, I’ve been kicked out of there to come back and play again.” Looking back on myself years ago, there has been a lot of progress in the way I’m returning to the tour and managing my wins and losses. I’m just super excited. I’m going back to court right now. I want to be more aggressive or do nothing.

Andresco, a 21-year-old Canadian from the suburbs of Toronto, is one of those great tennis talents who won the US Open women’s singles title by beating Serena Williams in straight sets in her first attempt in 2019. Made clear

Rated a career-high 4th in the following month, she will be ranked 72nd on Monday, but she still has a great combination of sophistication and punch and a rare ability to change gears and turns. Is. He also has powerful legs that are reminiscent of his role model low clusters which help him to cover the court in an explosive manner and create great speed despite the lack of tall players (he is 5 feet 6). Are

“There’s no shot that she can’t hit,” said Daniela Huntuchova, an analyst and former top five player who was commenting on the courtside on Friday when Andresco and Svetic first played on tour.

“In this first set, Bianca was not far from her highest level,” Huntuchova said. “For me, it was the best tennis set ever in a women’s tournament. In a way, it almost feels like a mirror against a mirror. They have different techniques, but mentally between the points. Have routines, and strategically they know exactly what they are trying to do there. Both are great players, and I kept saying during the match that I hope we will see this match more often. It will be a wonderful competition. “

But so far, Andresco, unlike the 20-year-old Svetik, has only been a part-time threat. There have been a series of injuries, a long-standing concern for a career, and more recently due to the misery that forced him to take his recent extended break after the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California in October 2021. Granted, before returning for it. Tournament in Stuttgart last month.

She used her tour time to serve as a shelter for victims of community service, children’s hospital volunteering and domestic violence. She went to a wellness retreat in Costa Rica and focused on developing more mental tools to accomplish the work of imagination and meditation that she, like Sweetak, started during her junior career and He cites one of the keys to his early, if not intermittent, success. .

“After Indian Wells, I didn’t want to play legally, like,” he said. “I don’t know if I was going to be dramatic, but I was feeling that way at the moment. But now, I’m glad I didn’t stop, because that time off made me appreciate my time in court. Forced, because it was a decision that came from me. It wasn’t an external thing like injuries or illness or anything. It was my call, and so I felt very empowered, and it was a big one for me. The step was that I was gaining more control over my life and not just putting pressure on myself and just enjoying myself.

“During that break, I basically did everything I wanted to do, and I told myself I wanted to stay that way if I came back. Obviously, if I lost. I want to be competitive and upset, but I also want to feel that I enjoy myself on the court and that I get more excited after losing than I crawl on my bed. And I’m crying. The night I was doing it last year. “

Andresco, like his tennis teammate Naomi Osaka and some of the other famous players of his generation, has been outspoken about mental health challenges. With three tournaments in his latest comeback, Andresco is clearly in a better position and will go to the French Open with speed on red clay, according to his different game.

She arrived at her body in a Friday interview without any tape or ice pack.

“Nothing,” she said. “I am especially grateful for my body, because it has been a big problem. Keep working and believe in yourself.

The challenge on the tour – the 10-month test of endurance and resilience – is to maintain health and vigor.

His team, led by veteran coach Swain Grunveld, is focused on keeping him fresh and, according to Andresco, calling him a bluff.

“They can call me without being defensive, and I think that really helps,” he said.

Groeneveld, whose top student in recent years was now retired Maria Sharapova, declined to comment on Andresco because he was “too early” in their relationship. But he has a systematic approach to his work, sitting on the courtside during matches and noting important game patterns and other details, as well as point-by-point scores, including a reduction in player concentration.

“He can write with all the notes like the 10 books he’s taking. It’s funny,” Andresco said.

Andresco, Canada’s first and only Grand Slam singles champion, has already been the subject of a book entitled “Bianca Andresco: She the North”, published in 2019, and Has also written a picture, a picture book entitled “Bibi’s Got” game: Tennis, Meditation and a story about a dog named Coco.

But with the astonishing retirement of reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champion Ashley Barty earlier this season, women’s sports leaders can only hope that Andresco’s tennis story is just beginning.

He has a fiery game as was clear to Hantuchová and anyone else who saw the opening set on Friday before Swiatek kicked in a gear that Andreescu was not ready to match, at least still not.

“He clearly gained some confidence from the first set,” said Andresco. “I was trying to be more aggressive, but at least in the second set I lost an inch. But he’s in the 25-match series, well let’s make it 26 now, for a reason.

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