Melbourne, Australia – During 2019, Bianca Andrescue edged out of the world number 152 as United States Open champion, she is seen playing with a tennis fairy on her shoulder.
And then Saubhagya left the 20-year-old Canadian Andreescu, shortly after he lifted that US Open trophy.
Andriscue handled a torn meniscus in October. Then came the coronavirus epidemic, which combined with a knee injury kept him out of competition for all until 2020. She trained during the new year to avoid falling to the ground while landing in Australia. His coach tested positive for the virus shortly after flying from Abu Dhabi, sending Anderscue into a difficult lockdown for 14 days because of his contact. He pulled out of an Australian Open warm-up tournament last week, instead of hurting too much risk too soon.
“It is very easy to ask yourself: ‘Why, why, why? Or what is the reason?'” Andreescu said that recently his quarantine was blowing air. “Some of these things you cannot control.”
On Wednesday, eighth-seeded Andreescu played only his second match in the last 15 months and bowed out of the Australian Open 3-6 2-6. Second round loss Hsieh Su-Wei In Taiwan, which is number 71 in the world.
Expectations were that Andriescu would be able to overcome the lengthy layoffs from the competition, as he had a history of doing so. But none of those previous challenges involved the complexities surrounding the 2021 Australian Open.
Andrescue was one of 72 players who could not leave His hotel room, even for training, for two weeks. Several former Grand Slam winners and 21 women in the main draw were classified as close contacts to those who tested positive for coronovirus after landing in Australia, which put them in a tough lockdown.
Woman is tennis All for a free For the year. Factor in a forced lockdown and the immense potential for a player’s return a year and a half ago, and uncertainty became almost unprecedented.
A dozen women have won Grand Slam singles titles in the last four seasons. At the French Open in October, Inga Swatrak19 from Poland entered the number 54 tournament and won the championship. In college Naomi Osaka Simona Halep of Japan and Romania has won more than one Grand Slam title since 2017.
No one acknowledged that uncertainty at the Australian Open over Andriescu, who on Monday passed a three-set nail biting first-round test against Romania’s Mihaela Bujarnescu.
There were moments when Andreescu made shots and found unseen angles, and many others when he looked overwhelmed by the 138th player in the world. The match against Heshe on Wednesday was much later.
Mary Carillo, former player and long-time tennis analyst, is among the most compelling players in the Andrescue game. Carillo compared him to Juan Martin del Potro, who Defeated Roger Federer to win US Open When he was just 20, a series of injuries persisted and never fulfilled the promise of that victory.
“When you see players like Juan-Martin and Bianca burn a hole in the game, you know they’ve got the goods,” Carillo said. “You want to see them put their games against the very best. You know they can win big. You want them to move around and prove that it’s real, from time to time, year-by-year. Sal, be one of the true greats. “
Everyone in tennis knows he has the talent to burn Andrescue. He has power from the base and his service. He has the athleticism required to chase balls in corners. At any time, from any place of the court, he can cut a slice with a lot of spin when he lands. All this, plus the experience of winning a Grand Slam title, and he has played only 50 WTA singles matches.
But having arrived in Australia, Andriscue had not played a match since October 2019. Inactivity gives most players a much lower chance of success than punchbacks. However, Andriscu showed a strange ability to edge off the war and play deep in the tournament. A back injury kept him out of the competition for two months in early 2018. When she returned she won two titles on the lower level ITF circuit.
In 2019, an injury to his right shoulder severely sidelined him from April to August. She returned for the Rogers Cup in Toronto, one of the highest-profile tournaments outside of the Four Majors, and Serena Williams prevailed after being eliminated from the finals and returning four games into the match. Andriescu then recorded seven consecutive wins and won again Become US Open champion.
That is not normal. Three-time Grand Slam winner Germany’s Angelique Kerber said that when injuries lead to long layoffs, it can take months to find the motivation to go to court and reach their limits. “I think it’s the toughest challenge,” Kerber said.
Andriscue can burn hot. She occasionally broke the racket in practice, although it was less than she used to. She said she cried on Sunday night in anticipation of her first round match in Australia.
After the first 48 hours he found out that his coach Sylvain Bruno had tested that he had tested positive. As he and others on his team continued to test negative, Andreescu came back into preparation mode.
He did strength and fitness sessions on a stationary bicycle in his room with his trainer above the zoom. His coach, who remains healthy, put him through shadow hitting sessions, allowing him to work on his footwork. A devotee of visual imagery training, he spent hours imagining himself playing matches.
He watched his matches from 2019 and gaining those wins boosted his confidence. He also read – Charles Duhigg’s “Smart Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity” and Michio Kaku’s “Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 -” and played Call of NBA2K on Duty and his Xbox. He composed music with his new hobby.
He was hurt and watched the 2020 US Open and French Open on television with a mix of hope. Not being in court bothered him, but as he took action, he again portrayed himself in that moment and it felt good.
After Monday’s tough win, Andreescu drowned in an ice bath and pondered the silver lining of that uneasy duel. “Those matches are super good for me,” she said ahead of the second round. “It really shows that I can scramble when I really need to, or if there’s some pressure I can somehow dig my way through it.”
Did not work for Andriskue on Wednesday. More digging lies ahead.