WE’LL HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING – A CANADIAN TEEN SURGES

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Bill Simons

Indian Wells

MEDITATE ON THIS: The highlight of the iconic movie When Harry Met Sally comes when actress Meg Ryan, who is eating in a restaurant, gives us a hilarious imitation of an orgasm. Nearby, an impressed older women notices and tells her waitress, “I’ll have what she’s having.” Well, these days tennis fans are saying, “We’ll have what Bianca Andreescu is having.”

Maybe the young Canadian’s astounding surge has a little to do with her frequent meditation. When she was 12, her mother introduced her to a practice called Creative Visualization. But we’d bet that not even the personable Ontario native visualized making it from outside the top 150 at the start of the year to well within the top 40 next week.

The 18-year-old, of Romanian heritage, says she likes to stay in the moment. And what a moment she had today when she absolutely destroyed two-time Slam champ Garbine Muguruza, 6-0, 6-1 in a mere 51 minutes. On court, the fresh Andreescu said tennis is all about moments – good moments and bad moments.

Of late, Bianca has had a string of fabulous moments. It began when she won the Oracle Challenger Series in Newport Beach, where she beat fellow Canadian Eugenie Bouchard. She backed that up with an impressive run to the semis in Acapulco. Here, she beat Aussie Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova and No. 18 seed Wang Qiang. She’ll next play No. 6 seed Elina Svitolina.

And before the biggest match of her life this Friday, she’ll no doubt go through her usual meditative routine. “It’s nothing complicated,” she told IT. “I wake up every morning. First thing I do is I meditate. It really helps me get a good jump-start to the day. Not opening my phone or anything, not getting too overwhelmed. It’s just creative visualization. I take 15 minutes every morning just to get in tune with my body, my mind. Because I feel a lot of people work on the physical part of things, but I think the mental part is the most important because it controls your whole body, right?…[So] I just take 15 minutes every morning. I visualize myself having a good day, stuff like that.”

So what expectations does this appealing teen have? Forget it. Wise beyond her years, Bianca told us, “I try to just accept what’s happening. I try not to have any expectations, because I think expectations ruin a lot of things.” All these insights from a kid with a sparkle in her eyes leaves us saying just one thing: “We’ll have what she’s having.”

GIMELSTOB UPDATE: According to sources, an LA judge denied Justin Gimelstob’s request for a continuance in a case in which he has been accused of felony battery by the District Attorney. A hearing has been scheduled for April 8th. The alleged victim, the LAPD and witnesses may be brought in to testify about the Halloween fight at the heart of the case. A decision on whether to go to trial could be reached.  

ROGER’S ENVY: After Federer’s win today it was noted that Rod Laver was in the house. Roger said, “The Rocket and Pistol Pete have much better nicknames than me. I’ve got some work to do. That’s one thing I’m jealous about.” When announcer Andrew Krasny suggested, “The Swiss Maestro?” Roger laughed, “Good try.”

JUST WONDERING: The new World Team Tennis franchise in Vegas is called the Las Vegas Rollers. Is that the best team name in tennis since the Boston Lobsters?

BEST JOKE OF THE YEAR? Tim Blenkiron, the talented, fun-loving coach of the Rollers, confidently stepped up to the podium at the WTT draft and said with a straight face, “The Las Vegas Rollers draft Roger Federer.” After more than a few nervous laughs subsided, he said the Rollers drafted Asia Muhammad.

LOVE COUPLE SUSTAINS RUN: Elina Svitolina is into the semis and her boyfriend Gael Monfils is in the quarters.

EVEN SUPERMAN GETS NERVOUS: Federer said that as he was facing three break points deep into his match against Kyle Edmund, “I was nervous – it’s okay to admit it.”

SONGS THAT MATCHED THE MOMENT: After Federer destroyed Brit Kyle Edmund 6-1 in the opening set of today’s match the stadium reverberated with the Rolling Stones’s “Hey, You, Get Off of My Cloud.” On a more serious note, the Indian Wells PA system played Aretha’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T when Venus returned after her 15-year boycott due to intense disrespect from a 2001 crowd.

DELPO WATCH: Argentinian reports say that Juan Martin del Potro is considering surgery for his knee, which he injured in Shanghai in October. It’s said the Tower of Tandil wants to avoid surgery, but that his “regenerative therapy treatment” has failed. This would be Delpo’s fifth surgery.

RAFA SAYS HE MAY NOT PLAY THAT LONG: When Rafa was asked whether he could see himself playing at age 37 like Federer and Serena, Nadal said, “Probably not. But when I was 26 or 25, I was not able to see me playing at the age of almost 33. So you never know.”

FEAR THE MAPLE LEAF: Although Denis Shapovalov lost today, Canada still has two players in the draw – Milos Raonic and Bianca Andreescu. 

LAST AMERICAN STANDING: Seventeen American women were in the main draw – making the US the most represented country – but now only Venus remains. She plays Thursday night against Angie Kerber, who holds a 5-3 record over her. With John Isner’s loss today to Karen Khachanov, there are no American men left in the singles or doubles.

SAGE ADVICE: When asked what he would advise juniors, John Isner said they should listen to authorities like their parents and coaches and not worry about immediate results. Pressroom observers backing up Isner’s advice pointed to Donald Young, who was so good he turned pro at 15. But poor early results undermined his confidence and he struggled. Gael Monfils was tagged as the greatest junior talent, routinely crushing a young Serb and a scrawny Scot, both of whom have since racked up majors. Monfils has had a wonderful career, but has never made it past the semis. Similarly, a young Richard Gasquet was on the cover of France’s Tennis Magazine when he was nine. He, too, has had a great career. But he’s never reached a Slam final.

OFF CABLE AND ON THE NETWORK: This Saturday’s semis will be the first national network TV broadcast (i.e not cable TV) for BNPPO since 2012, when Federer beat John Isner in the finals. It could be Rafa vs. Roger on ABC. But the network won’t broadcast the women’s semis.

NOT GONNA HAPPEN: PA announcer Andrew Krasny asked Nadal if he wanted Indian Wells to shift its surface to clay. The world’s ultimate claymeister said it was fine the way it was.

(Additional reporting by Douglas Hochmuth)

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