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Breaking Point: Bianca Andreescu rediscovers Main Character Energy at Miami Open
The former US Open champion remains undefeated at the Hard Rock Stadium in completed matches after edging through a signature thriller against rival Maria Sakkari.
Published Mar 25, 2023
WATCH: Andreescu put down an second straight three-setter to edge past rival Maria Sakkari at the Hard Rock Stadium.
MIAMI—Break Point was an admirable—if imperfect—encapsulation of life on tour throughout a narratively uneven 2022 season.
Where the first half of the highly-anticipated docuseries ultimately fell short, I would argue, can be traced to casting. Netflix undeniably gathered some of the game’s brightest young stars, and yet something—more specifically, someone—was missing. It needed a capital-P personality, a player with an understanding of the genre at hand.
It needed Bianca Andreescu.
“I love reality TV,” beamed the former US Open champion from beneath a headwrap-inspired headband. “That's literally all I watch…'Love is Blind'. 'Perfect Match'. I love 'Island'. Anything with ‘love!’”
Long before tennis’ answer to F1: Drive to Survive was conceived, tennis had birthed a reality star of its own when Andreescu, flanked by a fashionista mother and forever young pup named Coco, stormed to her first Grand Slam title in a stunner over Serena Williams. On the court and off, she made a compelling case for becoming the sport’s Main Character. A daughter to immigrant parents, she spoke in a style worthy of a confessional, delivering New Age wisdom with an internet-infused slang. Quite simply, a Gen Z camp icon.
Walking off Tennis Channel’s Warm & Fuzzy set, Andreescu is whipping through her phone in search of music and social media recommendations.
“Where’s my EDM playlist?” she asks out loud after blanking on her favorite artists. She pulls it up and sighs with relief.
“Kaytrenada,” she says with an air of, if you don’t know this DJ, you should. “I’m also loving Escapism by RAYE and 070 Shake.”
Her go-to Instagram follows are a predictable mix of inspirational quotes and tennis idols, plus Marvel Cinematic Universe star Simu Liu.
“He’s killing it,” she adds of her fellow Canadian.
Andreescu appears to have found her own inner superhero at the Miami Open, putting down a pair of thrilling performances over Emma Raducanu and Maria Sakkari to reach the third round and remain all but undefeated on the Hard Rock Stadium court. Her only loss came via retirement in the 2021 final.
“I like big stages,” she said after winning her second match against Sakkari out of three. “I guess that's what it is, honestly. Just being on the big stage. I like it.
“I thrive on it,” she adds with a whisper. “Well, I try to.”
She famously won her first eight matches against Top 10 players, racking up victories in Indian Wells, Toronto, and Flushing Meadows. A knee injury in the middle of her WTA Finals debut took her off tour for all of 2020, and though she began 2021 with an encouragingly familiar run to Miami’s championship match, her body and mind have largely been out of alignment since her breakout season.
I'm trying to be as fearless as I can be...It's not always easy, but I feel like I'm getting there, and wins like this obviously help with that...Bianca Andreescu
“I think it's just another step in gaining most of my confidence back,” she said on Friday. “I'm feeling really good on the court. I'm trying to be as fearless as I can be.
“It's not always easy, but I feel like I'm getting there, and wins like this obviously help with that because at this point I think it's just me getting matches in and playing tough rounds like this and knowing I can win.”
She first found that inner peace with the help of visualization—a word she would regularly accent with supreme flair to an intrigued press corp. That initial curiosity has since expanded into regular meditations and a focus on chakras.
“I definitely pay a lot of attention to that stuff,” she admitted. “I'm feeling really good, even at Indian Wells I've been feeling really, really good. Good positive vibes all around, and it also helps that the people around me kind of keep a positive outlook on everything.
“I do a lot of meditations on, you know, like, balancing all that stuff. Super easy. Just search balance your chakras on YouTube. That's what I do!”
That balance allows her to unleash a fierce competitor, one who fell into a full split to pass Sakkari and consolidate the break that took her to a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 victory.
“I just feel like if I continuously give 100% with what I have that day in any way, shape, or form on the court, off the court, with people, with my team, with anyone, I know that my chakras are balanced.”
Set to face another pre-pandemic standout in Sofia Kenin, Andreescu ends press with a gentle “Om,” remaining zen as she edges ever closer to recalibrating the tour back into a reality show where she is the star.