MISSISSAUGUA – Tennis lovers across Canada will gather around TV screens today to watch Bianca Andreescu take on Serena Williams in finals of the US Open.
If the 19-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., wins Saturday’s final match in New York City, she will be the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam title — one of the most prestigious accomplishments in professional tennis.
Andreescu has already clinched a record of sorts. Her semifinal win over Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic bas attracted as many as 1.5 million viewers Thursday evening on TSN — the biggest U.S. Open audience ever for the Bell Media sports channel.
Tennis Canada is holding viewing parties in Toronto and Montreal, while sports bars nationwide will host less official gatherings.
Andreescu has racked up quite the fan base over the past year, with the likes of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeting her congratulations.
She’s also become a fan favourite among members of the Romanian-Canadian community, who say they’re proud to see one of their own shine on the world stage.
And Hazel McCallion, the high-profile former longtime mayor of Andreescu’s hometown, also counts herself among the fans.
The 98-year-old nicknamed “Hurricane Hazel” says she’ll be watching the 4 p.m. match from the comfort of her home.