What could begin to wonder if winning the US Open between 2020 and 2022 was a curse on the WTA tour? In 2020, Naomi Osaka won and soon after began to struggle and needed to take some time off (partly due to having a child but her play was diminishing before that). In 2021, Emma Raducanu won the major and hasn’t won a title since. But in 2019, Bianca Andreescu won the US Open and hasn’t had the most pleasant of times since.
Andreescu seems like a very likable person who I would love to see win another major. But she simply hasn’t been good for a couple of years now. She was once ranked as high as number four on the WTA tour (October 21st, 2019), but is currently 44th and with seemingly nowhere to go but down (again). In fact, the last tournament she won was the US Open in 2019.
But she’s still only 23 years old. She could get back to being a top-ten player, maybe. But how? Her team seems to move on to other players quite a bit so her support system is ever-changing.
Bianca Andreescu has been struggling for several years now
She recently lost her physiotherapist, Jean-Pierre Bruyère, to Victoria Azarenka (to be fair, Bruyère had worked with Azarenka twice previously). Bruyère initially left “Team Bibi” (as Andreescu’s team is known) due to a health issue in his family. But he seemed to come back quickly to help Azarenka at Wimbledon and he seems to still be on Azarenka’s team.
In the past calendar year, Andreescu has lost Bruyère as well as her personal trainer, Abdul Sillah. Sillah left to go to Naomi Osaka’s team. And yes, staff changes between players quite a bit, but high-end staff on Andreescu’s team seems to leave for other players more than Andreescu is having people want to come to help her. It’s weird.
This week, Andreescu was playing in the opening round of the Citi Open (Andreescu lost to Marta Kostyuk 2-6 6-3 7-6(5)) when a fan basically began heckling her for no apparent reason. The guy in the stands, to be honest, seemed like he was being a jerk. I’m not sure what he might have against Andreescu, but the “fan” kept calling “out” on the Canadian’s serve and cheering when she missed. Then Andreescu just exploded and told the guy to “Shut up!”
Maybe it was just a momentary point of frustration for Andreescu, but it could also have been the cumulative effect of a couple of very frustrating years. She’s been injured quite often or simply playing poorly. And she shouldn’t have screamed at the fan, but I almost don’t blame her.
What I do wish happens is that she figures out whatever is going on with her versatile game and becomes a top player again. But at this point, that doesn’t seem capable of happening.