Bianca Andreescu won her first ever match at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by defeating Emma Raducanu who retired due to a back injury while trailing 6-2 2-1.
Though winning by retirement is never something one wishes for, Andreescu was very happy with her performance and focus: “I came into the match with a very positive mindset. I knew it was not going to be an easy match. Whatever she was going through, I obviously hope her a speedy recovery, but I was just very happy with how consistent I was with my performance. Even with the medical timeout, I didn’t let that distract me”.
The first taste of the conditions and atmosphere of Rome was love at first sight for the Canadian: “it’s a different atmosphere. The people here are crazy, but in the best way. They love their tennis. I love that kind of atmosphere. I also do see some Canadians, some Romanians here, which I love. I appreciate all the support. I really love the courts as well. It suits my game style. I know I say that a lot, but I like it”.
Andreescu has only returned to the tour after a few months break she had taken in order to find herself again: “I felt I did not enjoy the game as much as I did before. I didn’t feel the same passion. Even in 2019, like, I would wake up and I wouldn’t want to practice. There’s always that thing in the back of my head that would tell me to push myself because this is what I want to do. Last year was, like, super up and down. I didn’t understand why I was getting upset at myself for feeling that way as well. Just this constant battle with myself. I’m very grateful to have that privilege to say I can stop and take that break. I’m very grateful for my team as well because I literally told them, I said, I don’t know how long it’s going to be. I understand if you have other opportunities. I would love for you to stay in my corner. I can’t give you a timeline kind of thing. They stuck by my side. That means the world to me.”
The Canadian knows it will not be just a straight road upwards, but she is enjoying a much more mature approach to tennis and life. She felt like in that sense, her loss to Jessica Pegula in Madrid was a good step into learning this: “that was a great reality check from the universe. I’m very pleased with how I regrouped from that. Last year I would have cried in my pillow for two days straight. Now I just feel more hungry and motivated to continue and to be better. I mean, that’s life. That’s literally something you cannot change. There’s going to be downs, no matter what. But it’s, like, how you deal with it. I feel like I’m dealing with it pretty well. Obviously every tournament I go into, I want to win. But I still just want to focus on the progress to get there”.