PEI

Bianca Andreescu's U.S. Open win inspires young tennis players on P.E.I.

When Bianca Andreescu topped Serena Williams to capture the U.S. Open becoming the first singles player in Canadian history to win a grand slam title, she did so with an entire country cheering her on.

'Almost instantly there's more calls for interest in tennis and I think it's changing the game'

Nine-year-old tennis player Elijah Opps serves to Sebastien Nguyen during a practice at Spa Total Fitness in Charlottetown. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

Bianca Andreescu's U.S. Open victory has P.E.I.'s tennis community enthusiastic about the future of the sport in the region.

It was a historic win when the 19-year-old beat Serena Williams to become the first Canadian to take home a grand slam singles title.

And she did it with an entire country cheering her on.

"Really exciting," said Brian Hall, executive director of Tennis P.E.I.

"It got really tight in the second set and it was really cool to see our Canadian girl just do great stuff. Just have the great fortitude to finish great against one of the greatest, probably the greatest women player ever."

'Makes me think I can do that'

Andreescu's victory is already inspiring and motivating the next generation of tennis players on P.E.I. 

"I was very excited because it's amazing to see a Canadian win," said nine-year-old Elijah Opps, who first picked up a tennis racket when he was four.

Coach Brian Hall sets up a drill with four of his up-and-coming tennis players. (Tom Steepe/CBC )

"I've been watching Andreescu play for the last year and seeing her improve is fantastic and it makes me think I can do that. Her passion for the sport and everything's she's done has really inspired me."

"I enjoy watching her and yeah, I like her," said 12-year-old Maggie Chong, who is ranked as one of the top two players in Atlantic Canada.

Someone to look up to

Hall said it's important for young players to have someone to look up to. He believes Andreescu's win will help motivate players to work hard to improve their skills.

"With these recent wins and more and more Canadians moving up, it's starting to show them and they're starting to have the belief that they can be a top player," Hall said.

"So it changes everything having somebody from your home country starting to show the way."

Tiffany Chong, seen here returning a serve during practice, says she too would like to play in the U.S. Open one day. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

For under-10 player Tiffany Chong, Andreescu's win has inspired her to work even harder to achieve her goal of becoming a professional player.

"I would like to play in the U.S. Open one day," Chong said. "I want to continue to play tennis when I get older because it could get more challenging, it could get more harder and I could play better."

'Changing the game'

Hall said Andreescu's win has definitely inspired people — even those who have never played tennis before — to pick up a racket.

"Just the talk around and even the numbers in our recreational program are starting to reflect it. Almost instantly there's more calls for interest in tennis and I think it's changing the game."

Brian Hall of Tennis P.E.I. says there's already been more interest in tennis since Andreescu's win. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

Andreescu's win has changed the game for 10-year-old Sebastien Nguyen, who said it's inspired him to work harder.

"It was pretty special. I just like playing tennis because it's fun and I just like hitting balls."

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About the Author

Tom Steepe

Video Journalist

Tom Steepe is an award-winning video journalist with CBC P.E.I.

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