Bianca Andreescu made history on Sunday by winning the BNP Paribas Open as a wild card entry. Life has forever changed for the Canadian teenager.
"A year ago, during this period, I had been struggling a lot with my tennis and with my body, too. So it's crazy what a year can do," Andreescu said. "I was playing 25Ks in Japan, and now I'm the—can I say the F word? No, I can't. I'm the f-ing champion of Indian Wells. It's crazy. Crazy is the word of the tournament for me. Just crazy."
Here's five things to know about the WTA's newest superstar.
Andreescu became the first teenager to win the BNP Paribas Open since Serena Williams in 2001, and the youngest champion since Serena in 1991. She's also the first wild card winner ever, and the first Canadian champion ever, in singles or doubles, man or woman.
She won her first WTA main draw match in Washington in 2017 when she reached the quarterfinals as a wild card. This year, she has piled together a 28-3 record, with a finalist finish in Auckland and a WTA $125K Series title in Newport (those wins include qualifying and Fed Cup). With 16 main draw WTA wins, she leads for most wins on the tour. One year ago, she was ranked No. 196 and now she's No. 24.
Though born in Mississauga, Ontario, the 18-year-old's parents are both Romanian and she can speak the language. She started playing tennis at age 7 in Romania after her parents moved back, but they returned to Canada soon after.
Near the end of her acceptance speech after beating Angelique Kerber, she thanked the crowd in Romanian.
Before hitting the pro tour, Andreescu was an excellent junior. She won the prestigious Les Petites As world junior tournament at age 13 in 2014, over Claire Liu. She says that moment is when she knew she wanted to go pro.
"It really gave me a taste of what the tour felt like. Because after matches, you would sign autographs, you would give interviews, and the stadium court was actually really big and a lot of people came and watched," she said. "I loved every moment out there. I love playing in big stages and being an inspiration for others. It really gives me another purpose to play the sport."
In 2016, she achieved a career-high ranking of No. 3, and she won the Australian Open and Roland Garros junior doubles titles in 2017.
Andreescu describes herself and her game as "different." She's not afraid to mix things up with slices, drop shots and even moon balls. On her right bicep, she wears a spiral hair tie that she says was bothering her on her wrist so she moved it up. It's become sort of a symbol for her as she's worn it for her entire season. She also takes a sniff from a mystery jar on occasion but won't reveal what it is.
"I'm not saying anything," she said. "You guys got what the hair tie was about, and I think that's good enough."