Bianca Andreescu's rise has been spectacular, can she keep it up at the WTA Finals?
The rise of Bianca Andreescu this year has been mesmeric, and with the last big event of 2019 coming up at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, you cannot rule out the Canadian from picking up another title next week.
The 20-year-old this week reached number four in the WTA rankings, which made her the highest ranking Canadian in WTA Tour history, to solidify her position at the helm of the women’s game.
Her US Open victory, especially the spectacular victory in the final over Serena Williams, is the obvious highlight but her whole season so far has been nothing short of spectacular for a player of her age.
In this part of our series ‘Countdown to Shenzhen’, we look at Andreescu’s season in more detail and which part of her game causes so many difficulties for her opponents.
When she wins, she rarely looks back
Andreescu started the year having to qualify for the tournaments she entered, such as in Auckland and the Australian Open. While this can be challenging for a player who has ambitions of winning on the big stage, what it did was give Andreescu the chance to get some wins under her belt.
When analysing her match results for the season, just having the five losses stands out as a telling statistic on her outstanding form. But another piece of evidence is the number of winning streaks Andreescu has compiled, as can be seen in the chart below.
The best streak of 17 consecutive matches spanned from the French Open, where she withdrew before her second round match, until the Beijing Open against Naomi Osaka and that is astonishing for someone so young.
Should she get off to a quick start in the round robin format of the group stage in Shenzhen next week, her belief will only get stronger and opponents, like they have for most of the season, will find it almost impossible to stop her.
Her serve suits the hard courts
Due to a shoulder injury, Andreescu’s French Open and Wimbledon ambitions took a back seat and as of yet, she has not had much of a chance to play away from the hard courts.
But looking at the strengths of her game, which are based on power and domination of the baseline, it can be predicted that Andreescu will have a lot of success on the hard court.
This year, her service hold percentage stands at an impressive 74.5% and she breaks her opponent’s serve 43.9% of the time. Her forehand is a shot she always wants to use, especially after a powerful first serve.
The second serve can still be seen as a relative weakness, as the winning percentage of 49.6 behind the second serve shows, but this year the first serve has bailed her out of any trouble she has faced.
So Andreescu looks to close out her season with a WTA Tour leading fifth title, and as her year has gone so far, it would take a very brave person to predict her not doing so.