Tennis superstar Bianca Andreescu thinks it "would be so crazy" if Toronto and her Ontario hometown held parades for her but she’d be open to both. She also said Drake had apologized for not reaching out earlier.
She made the comments to reporters during her first appearance in Canada on Wednesday at the Aviva Centre at York University, after a whirlwind victory lap in the United States after beating Serena Williams and winning the U.S. Open.
Andreescu said she hasn’t spoken directly to Toronto Mayor John Tory or Mississauga, Ont. Mayor Bonnie Crombie -- who’ve both said Andreescu could have parades in their cities if she wanted.
“Damn. If that happens, That would be so crazy. I was not expecting anything,” she said in regards to Crombie wanting to roll out the red carpet.
The push for a parade started after the Twitter hashtag #SheTheNorth -- which echoed the Toronto Raptors’ #WeTheNorth -- went viral after her U.S. Open victory, with many arguing she should command the same type of attention as the NBA Championship-winning team.
“You guys really motivate me to do better in my matches,” Andreescu said in an interview with CTV News. “I’m so glad I’m back home, so I can feel the love in person.”
DRAKE APOLOGIZES FOR NOT SENDING PRAISE
She also said that Drake apologized for not sending her praise shortly after her win. During the press conference, Andreescu laughed as she read messages from Drake who said he thought “liking” her social media posts was enough.
She said he'd texted her: "Here I am :). Congrats we are all so proud of you. I've been liking every post with you in it LOL. I thought you'd see."
Andreescu said texting with the rapper was "unreal."
During her appearances on the U.S. talk-show circuit, she had jokingly called out the Canadian rapper and Toronto Raptors global ambassador for not paying homage to her win.
Other Canadians such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former NBA player Steve Nash have publicly congratulated Andreescu but apparently not the Grammy-award-winning rapper.
“Drizzy. Champagne Papi, I’m waiting for you,” she joked with Jimmy Fallon on his late-night show, after the host asked her who she hasn’t heard from.
Andreescu said she’s been adjusting to her newfound fame and that her “first stop” after returning to Canada was Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall. She laughed, “I’ve been getting more recognized than usual.”
During the press conference, she was even asked about who should play her in a movie. She said actor Jennifer Lawrence has the OK to play her if a biopic is ever made about her.
“I feel we have a similar vibe,” she laughed.
WHIRLWIND WEEK FOR GRAND SLAM WINNER
The 19-year-old, who is now Canada’s first-ever Grand Slam singles champion, also addressed her nerves on the court on Saturday.
She said she overcame the pressure, and the 20,000 fans in the area who were mostly cheering for Williams, because she’s “been preparing mentally for this for a pretty long time.”
Following a post-game interview, she seemed to give what some deemed a very “Canadian” answer after she was asked which obstacle had been the hardest to overcome.
She then turned to the crowd that had formed behind her on the ESPN dais and threw her hands up.
“I know you guys wanted Serena to win, so I’m so sorry!” she yelled out jokingly. That’s when Twitter erupted with praise.
On Monday, she dramatically shot up to No. 5 in the WTA Tour's world rankings but told reporters that “I’d want to crack the top three.”
Andreescu acknowledged in the interview with CTV News that the road ahead will not be easy, and there will always be other obstacles: remaining consistent, staying healthy and injury-free are among her biggest challenges going forward.
SPOTLIGHT ON MOM’S POISE DURING MATCHES
Despite most of the spotlight shining on Andreescu, some of that attention has been given to her mother, Maria.
The chief compliance officer at an investment firm has been regularly seen in the stands, wearing large sunglasses and clapping coolly during her daughter’s matches.
During the press conference, she said her mom “deserved some applause” for becoming the subject of articles online. She attributes her mantra of “dream big to get big” to her mother.
But some had tweeted that her mother appeared too calm during her daughter’s victories including model Chrissy Teigen, who tweeted, “Bianca’s mom looks like someone is pretending to be Bianca’s mom. Someone check on Bianca’s mom!!” However, others were quick to criticize the tweet and defend Andreescu’s mother.
Although she didn’t address Teigen, Andrescu laughed at people loving her mom’s behaviour, tweeting, “This is actually hilarious. My mom’s a straight G. I’ll never be that cool.”
Andreescu credits her family for their sacrifices and support over the years, driving her to practice, taking time off work to attend tournaments, believing in her, and supporting her dream since day one. “That’s really all I can ask for. I can’t thank them enough,” she told CTV News. “They’re treating me like I’m still their little Bianca, which I greatly appreciate.”
Andreescu said her parents have been dealing with all the attention well. “They’re honestly the coolest parents ever. I don’t think I could ever be on their level,” she said, adding, “the most important thing for me is being able to surround myself with amazing people that help me stay grounded and just help support me and believe in me.”
COMING DOWN OFF THE HIGH
Andreescu told CTV News that it “means a lot” to be an inspiration for others to get into tennis. “When I step on the court, I just want to show my best self out there,” she said, noting that she has received message from people who picked up tennis or started watching the sport because of her. “Hopefully, I can pave the way for many other kids.”
Andreescu met one of her own inspirations at the U.S. Open, Billie Jean King, who she said has done so much for women sports and pushing for equality. “Hopefully I can be part of that journey that Billie Jean King started.”
As for what’s next, Andreescu is back to training this week.
“I’m training on Friday. There’s new steps and goals I want to achieve because I’m not done yet.”
Sylvain Bruneau, her full-time coach since 2018, has said she’ll resume her training next week with their sights set on playing in the Beijing Open in late September -- one of the tournament during the WTA Tour's Asian swing.
"This is the start of what she says she wants to be able to accomplish, so if it's only the start (that means) you're nowhere close to where you want to go or where you want to be, you're just going in the right direction," he told reporters in Montreal on Monday.
"If this is your mentality, then back to work,” he said, adding that Andreescu’s victory lap is well-deserved and will help her come down off the high of winning so she’ll be ready to begin training.
-- With files from CTVNews.ca writer Solarina Ho
Aleady underway— Bonnie Crombie (@BonnieCrombie) September 7, 2019
And a rally and Keys to the city too! Let’s lock down the timing....— Bonnie Crombie (@BonnieCrombie) September 10, 2019
Personally I feel this is pretty low to make fun of this young girl’s mother. She may be shy, she may be reserved, she may be terrified of the spot light. What ever, I thought we were supposed to be teaching people to be inclusive & not make fun of others.— Laurie Case (@lauriecase68) September 7, 2019
Disappointing tweet. Shes a successful woman and mother who supported her daughter's dreams. Look her up. Disappointing coming from you.— Leslie Uy-Blakely (@LeslieUy1) September 8, 2019
This is actually hilarious. My moms a straight G. I’ll never be that cool https://t.co/4pvXVf5ZXv— Bianca (@Bandreescu_) September 9, 2019