This February, Canadians will get the chance to witness the return of a very special athlete.
Tennis champ Bianca Andreescu.
The tournament where she will make her comeback after over a year away is set to take place in Melbourne, Australia starting February 3. It is a warm-up event for this year's Australian Open, which is one of tennis' four biggest tournaments, or Grand Slams. Traditionally, that event would be happening right now (happy Australia Day, by the way!). But the pandemic has added an extra level of caution to everything. Makes sense! So this year's tournament will be held from February 8 to 21 instead.
Though COVID-19 quarantines have been strict and made playing tennis difficult during 2020, many tournaments did happen. So where was Bianca all this time?
A wild year ...
Back in 2019, Canadian sports fans were taken on a wild ride for the ages. It was the year when a teenaged tennis player named Bianca Andreescu went from unknown to global superstar.
With a mighty game and even mightier will, Bianca sent the sport into a frenzy. And made Canada tennis-obsessed. She won a huge tournament, Indian Wells, that March. Then she captured Canada's Rogers Cup in August by beating the legendary Serena Williams. And to cap it all off, she won the massive U.S. Open a month later, beating Serena yet again.
And we wrote about her a lot.
... then a quiet one
In less than a year, Bianca went from being ranked well outside the Top 100 female players to No. 4 in the world.
But since then, things for her have been very quiet. You might think that this was because of COVID-19. But in truth, Bianca hasn't played since October 30, 2019. Her ferocious style of play had led to injuries and it has been a long road back for the young athlete.
In fact, she even had to take several breaks during 2019 to recover from injuries. So once COVID hit, the 20-year-old decided to focus on getting as healthy as possible. That way, when things did return to normal, she would be ready to give it her all. No breaks, no excuses.
Of course, normal isn't back quite yet. But Bianca is. Right now, despite taking over a year off, she is still ranked in the Top 10. Will she immediately become one of the most feared players in the game? Or will it take time for her to ramp things back up?
Here's hoping she can hit the court running. And swatting! We could all use an inspiring story to follow right now! Relive (and relove!) her awesome match point from the 2019 U.S. Open below.