After Bianca Andreescu’s incredibly gutsy 7-6, 7-5 win over Swiss Belinda Benic, Inside Tennis conducted exclusive post-match interviews with the teen’s coach, Sylvain Bruneau, and her mother Maria, who was holding their dog Coco. Here’s our conversation with each of them. BTW, mother and daughter look so much alike.
To Sylvain: What a performance! What has Bianca shown us during her incredible run to the final?
Grit. She’s not afraid when she’s pushed to the wall. She lets her shots go, she goes after it. She’s got a lot of grit.
Saturday, can she bring down 23 Slam winner Serena?
It’s a tough task, but I think she does it.
Will you tell her to relax and enjoy the moment or to go for it?
She’s going to play her game.
To Maria: What makes Bianca such a special person?
She’s my daughter, she’s our daughter, she works very hard and we are very proud of her.
She said you were her role model. What makes your relationship special?
We have that sister relationship, like a sibling relationship. I’m not a mother, she’s not a daughter.
[Turning to Maria’s dog Coco] Oh, you are so cute, Coco. Can I pet you? Maria, Bianca has mentioned the power of meditation and the use of creative visualization. What is that?
It’s just like any other meditation, before matches, before she goes to sleep, every morning, she works on her mind. And we saw that tonight it made a difference.
What is the one thing that you are most proud of in your daughter?
She’s a fighter. I’m so proud. She never gives up. She has a champion’s mentality.
If, when you left your home in Romania, you were told that your daughter would become a US Open finalist, what would you have said?
I would not believe it – no, absolutely not. But you know what? There is a lot of work, a lot of sacrifices for us. She made a lot of sacrifices, so she deserves to be here.
Well, she is 19, but Bianca’s an old soul, like has been said. She has an attitude, everything. She’s not a 19-year-old.
She’s had to battle one injury after another.
We made a lot of changes in her team. She now has her own physio. We’re connected with good people, so hopefully we’re going to keep her injury free because, as you can see, if she’s injury free, she can do big things
Bianca has such a wonderful sense of wonder. She gushed, “Is this real life, is this real life?”
Of course, it’s a big thing, it’s a big scene. Just think about it, it’s the US Open and Saturday she will play Serena. She always wanted to play Serena.