Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 Canada’s Bianca Andreescu in action during her first round match against Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu REUTERS/Jaimi Joy
Former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu cried the night before her much-anticipated return from a year-plus injury and then again burst into tears Monday after a tough victory in the Australian Open.
The eighth seed was forced to save three break points in the seventh game of the deciding set before prevailing 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 against Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu in two hours and two minutes.
She capped her comeback in style with a 27th winner as she wiped away tears to complete an emotional 24 hours for the Canadian.
“Last night I did cry, and I’m not afraid to say that because everyone cries sometimes,” she said.
“But it’s a good release for me because in my head, all I was thinking about were the last 15 months and how tough they were, and they were tough for many reasons.
“It wasn’t necessarily easy, but I got through them.
“I have amazing people around me that help me along the way, and I have to thank them for that because I wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”
Andreescu was set to make her comeback as top seed in the warm-up Grampians Trophy, but pulled out as a precautionary measure after spending 14 days in hard lockdown after arriving in Australia.
She had not played a competitive match since suffering a left knee injury at the WTA Finals in October 2019, halting her rapid rise after a stunning straight-sets victory over Serena Williams in the final at Flushing Meadows that year.
The 20-year-old turned to meditation to help her cope with the long layoff.
“I’ve been doing really well with just staying in the present moment,” she said.
“I think that was a key factor of why I won today.
“To me it’s kind of embedded in myself somehow.
“I was just super happy on the court and grateful to be back.”
Andreescu plays Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan in the second round.
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