VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The Vancouver tennis community is joining the chorus of Canadians cheering Bianca Andreescu’s historic achievement Saturday afternoon.
A local coach says he anticipates Andreescu’s victory over legend Serena Williams at Flushing Meadows will draw more young people in the Lower Mainland toward the tennis courts.
“We’re just going to get busier and busier. You can really see the demand of people wanting to start playing tennis,” says Kris Santoso, the Director of International Programs with the Vancouver International Tennis Academy.
Andreescu’s victory made her the first ever Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title.
"It justifies all the work everybody’s done, everybody from the very beginning."
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) September 8, 2019
Santoso predicts her win will increase interest in the sport, which already got a boost from the success of other Canadian players like B.C.-born Vasek Pospisil.
“Now with Bianca, we really see the grassroots coming, just a lot of kids, so much so that we don’t even have enough time.”
Santoso himself competed at the junior level at the US Open under Andreescu’s current coach, Sylvain Bruneau.
He says he hopes Andreescu’s success will prompt Canadian sports officials to direct more money toward tennis development in Canada, which he says has been dwindling since his time as a Canadian international tennis competitor in the early-to-mid 1990’s.
“Hopefully they will take notice with the success of tennis, and as it grows I think the funding should probably increase as well.”