WTA's Newcomer of the Year, Bianca Andreescu, says she was equipped for her successes on tour this season, but not the attention that came with it.
Andreescu started the season ranked No. 152, reaching the final of Auckland as a qualifier with wins against Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams. She then won Indian Wells, Toronto, and the US Open, beating Serena Williams in the final, and was undefeated against Top 10 opponents until Beijing. She is now No. 5 in the rankings.
But the teenager says she has had a lot of experience doing things for herself from a young age.
"I think it's just because of my lifestyle – I've been traveling ever since I was 12, alone. I'm an only child too. So I was figuring out things on my own a lot, especially being away from home without my parents,” she told the Australian Open website.
“I’m exposed to different things than the average teenager, I would say.”
What she hadn't been used to is the spotlight.
“I think for me the toughest part would be the media and the fame that goes along with it. Like when you dream about becoming No.1 in the world, winning Grand Slams, you don't think of [that],” Andreescu said. “Sometimes you get noticed everywhere – you just want to do your own thing. But I have to deal with that. So far, so good, I'm not complaining. I'm pretty outgoing, I'm a very social person.”
Andreescu also won the Lou Marsh award for the best Canadian athlete, a prestigious honor in her country.
She is next scheduled to compete in Auckland, where she will receive a very different reception, rather than a qualifier—she is the tournament's top seed.