Connect with us

Sports

Bianca Andreescu returns home for National Bank Open after mental health break from tennis

Published

on

 


Bianca Andreescu is photographed for a press conference in Toronto on Thursday, July 14, 2022, ahead of the National Bank Open tennis tournament.Chris Young/Getty Images

For a while, Bianca Andreescu hated tennis.

The feeling started to fester a few years after she became Canada’s first Grand Slam singles champion in 2019. After a string of exciting successes, the rising WTA star felt ill-equipped to handle losses. Dealing with injuries, a bout of COVID and isolation time spent in hotels all threw off her quest to become the world’s number 1. The tennis star began to fixate on the haters and their caustic messages on social media. All the fun had leaked out of the sport and the young player measured her personal worth by her results and rankings. Chest pain became frequent.

Andreescus ah-ha the moment came when she should have enjoyed the luxury of success. It was the fall of 2021, at the BNP Parabas Open in Indian Wells, California, and she was staying in a beautiful rental home, a perk reserved for the returning champion. Shed won the 2019 event as a daring 18-year-old.

I stayed in the most beautiful house. I had everything on my feet because I was the defending champion, Andreescu told The Globe and Mail during a recent video interview from San Jose, California. But nothing filled me. I walked through that house, received all these gifts and thought I don’t deserve this, like what am I doing?

Even those beautiful surroundings could not cheer her up. Andreescu had felt the weight of the world on her shoulders for months and never felt like herself on the track. It was time to do something. She was afraid of disappointing people, but decided to stop playing tennis indefinitely. She told her circle privately. Most supported her idea, although a few did not. Andreescu later announced it publicly in a tweet on December 6.

I hated myself, I hated the sport, Andreescu recalled. I didn’t know when I would come back, or if I would come back, because I was so ready at that point. Just done like that.

Andreescu took six months off the competition to focus on her mental health. That’s an eternity on the WTA Tour, where women play for millions in prize money and jockey in the world rankings every week, with new stars regularly appearing on the scene. Such a break by a professional athlete was once considered brash or weak, but it is increasingly accepted as superstar athletes such as Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka have shared their mental health issues. Andreescu used the free time to indulge in various passions, to travel without a tennis racket and attend a life-changing retreat in Costa Rica.

Freshened up and her fondness for tennis rekindled, the Mississauga native has been making her return to the Tour for a few months. She will be playing near home at the National Bank Open (previously called the Rogers Cup) this week for the first time in three years. Due to the pandemic, the WTA has not stopped its biennial tour in Toronto since 2019, when Andreescu became the first Canadian champion since 1969, just weeks before claiming the US Open title in back-to-back finals against legend Serena Williams. She started a wild 2019 ranked at number 152, and quickly rose to a career high number 4, stunning top WTA players and dazzling fans with her combination of strength and variety that was widely hailed as fun to watch.

A lot has happened in Andreescus’ life since then.

Her time out last year wasn’t the Canadian’s first time taking a break from the WTA Tour. She did not play any tournaments in 2020. She first withdrew from the Australian Open, the first slam of the season, still suffering a knee injury during the 2019 WTA final in October. When the Tour returned from its pandemic hiatus in August 2020, Andreescu chose to use the remainder of that season to focus on recovery and fitness.

There were 15 months between competitions when she resurfaced for the 2021 Australian Open. She played 13 tournaments in the 2021 season with a record of 17-13 in matches 4-4 in slams. Highlights included making it to the finals in Miami (despite stopping the game with a foot injury), and the round of 16 at the US Open. There were also lows: first-round eliminations at Wimbledon and Roland Garros, and just one win in Montreal as the Canadian face of the tournament.

Last April, she tested positive for COVID-19. In June she said goodbye to coach Sylvain Bruneau after four years of working together. She was also affected by her grandmother’s stay of several weeks in an ICU to fight off COVID. Tensions followed her to court. She no longer surprised her opponents as often as she used to and lost more often. She couldn’t stop herself from scrolling through negative posts on social media criticizing her game or admonishing her for posting pictures of something fun suggesting she wasn’t hardworking or focused enough.

When she retired from tennis at the end of 2021, she also stopped watching social media for a while.

She said she got to the point where she felt so bad, it’s almost like your brain craves the negativity, Andreescu said. I looked at every comment and every post and it was just awful. Now I think I know how to stop myself. Hopefully I never get to that point again.

During this most recent free time, she concentrated on various pursuits such as martial arts, hip-hop and yoga. She returned to something she loved as children’s acrobatics.

I didn’t turn to psychologists or psychiatrists or anything like that. I just wanted to work on myself, but without outward advice or thoughts or pressure, Andreescu said. I just wanted to do what I wanted to do, and heal the way I wanted to heal.

She traveled through Europe visiting family and friends. She attended a mindfulness retreat focusing on yoga and traditional African dances on a white sand beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Nosara, Costa Rica. She quickly mingled with other guests, despite being there alone. Even when Canadians recognized her there, she didn’t feel like a celebrity, but a member of a community that ate, lived and shared stories, rode horses and spotted monkeys in the trees of their jungle environment.

I loved having such a community of like-minded people, said Andreescu, who has practiced meditation since childhood.

Andreescu has done charity work in Toronto with animals at the Humane Society and with women and children at Yellow Brick House, a domestic violence shelter.

It showed me a lot of humility, Andreescu said. It gave me so much more appreciation for my life.

Andreescu returned to the Tour in April, then ranked No. 121, starting in Stuttgart, Germany.

She played 20 games in eight tournaments in 2022, taking 12 wins and improving her ranking to number 54. She beat a few top 20 players, including Emma Raducanu, Danielle Collins and Daria Kasatkina. At the end of June she made her first career on the grass track in Bad Homburg, Germany.

Fellow Canadian and tennis TV analyst Sharon Fichman says seeing a player in public about her mental and emotional health is more supportive on today’s WTA Tour, where it was once stigmatized as a weakness.

Taking a temporary financial loss, but putting your time and energy into being the best version of yourself, will pay off ten times over, Fichman said of Andreescus’s mental health leave. She listened to herself and I think that’s really a challenge to do, especially when you’re in a position like Bianca, with so many sponsors, pressure and people wanting you to come out and play again.

She calls Andreescu a dark horse to win in Toronto, saying her best tennis may be yet to come.

The average age of women in the WTA’s top 10 is 25.2 years. Andeescu, who has earned around $8 million in prize money in her career, turned 22 in June.

There is a high rate of burnout and a huge number of players with so much potential that they quit before they have a chance to show what they can do, Fichman said. That’s because the sport is really mentally draining, especially in this age of social media. It’s not the same as 10 to 20 years ago.

Andreescus’ last game this week, however, was worrying. She struggled with back pain and used medical timeouts in a 6-4, 6-2 loss to US World No. 45 Shelby Rogers in San Jose on Tuesday, in the first round of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic. Her rep confirmed on Friday that she is rested and on track to play in Toronto.

The field will be tough, with 41 of the top 43 players from Tours, including Canadian No. 14 Leylah Fernandez, plus legends Serena and Venus Williams. There will be full capacity at York University’s Sobeys Stadium. The tournaments in Montreal and Toronto were canceled in 2020 and held with limited crowds in 2021. Andreescu has fond memories of those Toronto courts where she trained as a child and went on to take six wins in her remarkable run to the 2019 title.

Andreescu arrives as the published author of a children’s picture book, Bibis has the game, and the ambassador of Tennis Canada’s new wellness project called Mental Timeout. The initiative includes new mental health resources for players on the ground at this year’s WTA event in Toronto and ATP tournament in Montreal, including one-on-one access to meditation and yoga experts, plus relaxation areas.

I know I’m not alone. I’ve had the chance to speak to legends like Billie Jean King and Kim Clijsters who have given me such great advice, Andreescu said. I try not to take life too seriously.

You just need to take a deep breath. I don’t want to feel so stressed. Of course I want to win and do well, but at the same time I want to have fun. It’s a game of tennis, you know?

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/tennis/article-bianca-andreescu-returns-home-for-national-bank-open-after-hiatus-from/

The mention sources can contact us to remove/changing this article

What Are The Main Benefits Of Comparing Car Insurance Quotes Online

LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / June 24, 2020, / Compare-autoinsurance.Org has launched a new blog post that presents the main benefits of comparing multiple car insurance quotes. For more info and free online quotes, please visit https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/the-advantages-of-comparing-prices-with-car-insurance-quotes-online/ The modern society has numerous technological advantages. One important advantage is the speed at which information is sent and received. With the help of the internet, the shopping habits of many persons have drastically changed. The car insurance industry hasn't remained untouched by these changes. On the internet, drivers can compare insurance prices and find out which sellers have the best offers. View photos The advantages of comparing online car insurance quotes are the following: Online quotes can be obtained from anywhere and at any time. Unlike physical insurance agencies, websites don't have a specific schedule and they are available at any time. Drivers that have busy working schedules, can compare quotes from anywhere and at any time, even at midnight. Multiple choices. Almost all insurance providers, no matter if they are well-known brands or just local insurers, have an online presence. Online quotes will allow policyholders the chance to discover multiple insurance companies and check their prices. Drivers are no longer required to get quotes from just a few known insurance companies. Also, local and regional insurers can provide lower insurance rates for the same services. Accurate insurance estimates. Online quotes can only be accurate if the customers provide accurate and real info about their car models and driving history. Lying about past driving incidents can make the price estimates to be lower, but when dealing with an insurance company lying to them is useless. Usually, insurance companies will do research about a potential customer before granting him coverage. Online quotes can be sorted easily. Although drivers are recommended to not choose a policy just based on its price, drivers can easily sort quotes by insurance price. Using brokerage websites will allow drivers to get quotes from multiple insurers, thus making the comparison faster and easier. For additional info, money-saving tips, and free car insurance quotes, visit https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/ Compare-autoinsurance.Org is an online provider of life, home, health, and auto insurance quotes. This website is unique because it does not simply stick to one kind of insurance provider, but brings the clients the best deals from many different online insurance carriers. In this way, clients have access to offers from multiple carriers all in one place: this website. On this site, customers have access to quotes for insurance plans from various agencies, such as local or nationwide agencies, brand names insurance companies, etc. "Online quotes can easily help drivers obtain better car insurance deals. All they have to do is to complete an online form with accurate and real info, then compare prices", said Russell Rabichev, Marketing Director of Internet Marketing Company. CONTACT: Company Name: Internet Marketing CompanyPerson for contact Name: Gurgu CPhone Number: (818) 359-3898Email: [email protected]: https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/ SOURCE: Compare-autoinsurance.Org View source version on accesswire.Com:https://www.Accesswire.Com/595055/What-Are-The-Main-Benefits-Of-Comparing-Car-Insurance-Quotes-Online View photos

ExBUlletin

to request, modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]