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Looking back on the U.S.Open, specifically on the Women’s side, what Canadian Bianca Andreescu accomplished on Saturday is a fantastic feat. It’s great for tennis, and hopefully, for tennis in Canada. She’s a worthy U.S.Open champion.
Now comes the reality of what she’s done.
I’m happy for Bianca, but she’s got a long, tough road ahead of her before she gets anywhere near matching Serena Williams, who she defeated for the U.S.Open title, career accomplishments, and I’m hoping people don’t start comparing her to Serena, or any of the other Women’s tennis greats. I support my feelings by reminding people how Canadian sports fans, and specifically golf fans and the golf media, jumped aboard the Mike Weir train after he won the 2003 Masters.
“This will change golf in Canada!” they proclaimed.
“Weir has proven that he belongs with golf’s elite!” they trumpeted.
Uhhh, actually, no it didn’t. Mike Weir never got close to winning a major ever again. His 2003 Masters victory turned out to have been the case of a guy getting hot for a weekend, and not being able to do so ever again. In fact, it took all the way until 2018 and this year for another Canadian, Brooke Henderson, to reach prominence in golf, and it LOOKS like she’s going to be around a lot longer than Weir ever was.
Am I saying Bianca Andreescu is a 1-shot wonder? ABSOLUTELY, UNEQUIVOCALLY, NO!!!. I’m simply saying let’s see what happens over time. At 19, Bianca Andreescu has just won her first tennis major, and that U.S.Open win will surely vault her into the current Top-5 rankings. But getting there is one thing, STAYING there is another. Tennis and golf history is full of players who won once and then never saw the winner’s podium in a major again.
Bianca has neither “failed” or “succeeded” in her tennis career at this point. What she’s done is discovered that she can PLAY with, and BEAT the elite players of Women’s tennis.
But now comes the hard part.
Now comes the time to prove she can do it over a career. That’s how you measure yourself with the greats.
Bianca’s road to greatness has just started, not finished. This U.S. Open win is the first rung on the ladder if she wants to stand with the other greats, like Serena Williams, Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova.
Whether Bianca is a “1-trick pony” or a genuine elite player is still to be determined, and I hope Canadian sports fans and media recognize that her development isn’t done. The U.S. Open win is simply an indication that it’s coming along terrifically.