‘If I lost, I hated myself – if I won, I loved myself’ – returning Andreescu on her break from tennis
The Canadian star is back on court – and as open as ever about her struggles and hopes for the future
Bianca Andreescu made a winning return to the WTA Tour at the Stuttgart Open, beating Jule Niemeier 7-6 (5), 6-3 – and revealed afterwards the reasons she had opted to step back from tennis for six months.
“I was struggling a lot mentally, and I just wasn’t enjoying myself out there,” said the former US Open champion. “I really identified myself with the sport whenever I lost. It sounds a bit dramatic, but if I lost, I hated myself, and if I won, I loved myself.
“Before, I just really enjoyed playing, if I won, if I lost, I was just super-happy to be on court. That’s the mentality I want to keep going this year.”
The Canadian has not played since last October’s Indian Wells, when she lost in the second round to Anett Kontaveit. This was her first match on clay since her first-round loss at Roland-Garros at the hands of Tamara Zidansek earlier in 2021.
Andreescu – Tennis is my way to contribute to a better world
Andreescu shared on social media in December 2021 that she would not be playing the Australian Open and opting instead to delay the start of her season even further.
And she had told WTA Insider earlier in the week that she had considered leaving tennis entirely.
“I’m being really honest here, but I actually wanted to quit the sport,” said the 21-year-old. “I realised that I really do love the sport and I do want to continue, but not just to win Grand Slams, or to do this and that. I want to do something bigger in the sport and I want to help contribute to a better world as well. I realise that tennis is my way toward that.”
She will continue her campaign in Stuttgart with a Round of 16 clash against Aryna Sabalenka.