Aug/19

12

Andreescu has superhuman, magical powers

Bianca Andreescu accomplished something yesterday at the Canadian Open in Toronto that has never been done before in history. I’m not talking about a teenager from Canada winning the Open or beating a supreme legend in the final.

No, Andreescu did something even more wondrous and awe-inspiring after the contest concluded.

Moments after the match, after Serena Williams retired due to a supposed back injury while trailing Andreescu 3-1, the veteran sports icon was sitting in her chair crying. Andreescu went over to visit her conquest, kneeled down in front of Williams, touched her knees and attentively communicated with her verbally and with her eyes.

In just seconds, the distraught Serena suddenly began laughing and smiling away her painful sobbing. Andreescu somehow showed she has the magical powers via her words and communication skills, to manipulate Serena’s emotions and turn them from a negative into a positive. A mere 19 year old accomplished this with a 37 year old all time queen of the sport.

The ability to take Serena from agony to joy with just a few words is undoubtedly a rare special talent that Andreescu possesses, along with her many other tennis skills.

Bianca Andreescu showed yesterday in so many ways she is an extraordinary personality and champion, and it’s only the beginning of a fresh new unique reign the tennis world is avidly excited to witness.

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129 comments

  • Dan Markowitz · August 13, 2019 at 5:56 am

    I’m sorry, maybe I’m too sensitive, but for a 19-year-old who’s just won a match against Serena because Serena retired, to call Serena an “(expletive) beast” is a poor choice of words. And if you asked Serena, if she wasn’t sobbing on her chair when Andreescu said it to her, I would think she’d say, “Hey, watch the ‘beast’comment.”

    Serena’s a wife, a mother, I don’t think she wants to be referred to as “a beast.” If a guy said that to Nadal or Murray, it would rile their feathers, but I bet Serena didn’t like hearing Andreescu call her a beast.

    Just saw possibly the worst women’s singles match I’ve ever seen, Sharapova v Riske. The Pittsburhian has possible the worst forehand I’ve ever seen on a top–what is she–30 player. She basically faces the net on it and arms it. Her serve at least in this match was atrocious. She had like 10 double faults in a two-set match. Sharpie wasn’t much better, hitting some double faults halfway to the baseline.

    Obviously, I’ve said this before, but women’s tennis is in bad shape. Once Serena retires, I don’t know if it’ll get much attention. Andersen is a breath of fresh air, but Barty and her are not exactly the lithe winsome players who attracted attention in the past, Wozniaki, Sharapova and even Azarenka. There are many young American women emerging but players like Kenin and Anismova aren’t much on the charisma side. It looked promising for a while with Stephens, Keys and Vandeweghe, but they have all disappointed for one reason or another.

    I think men’s tennis in the US is obviously going through a tough stretch too. Tiafoe has charisma, but his game has swooned. Opelka is about as charismatic and likable as a hit man and Fritz, Donaldson when he still played and Mac Mac are all duds on the personality side. If you took a player like de Minaur and said he was from Detroit, he’d have the potential to be a real crowd-pleaser at a place like the US Open because he plays so hard and so well, but instead we’re stuck with the Sandgren’s and Harrison’s and Sock’s who are all dislikable for the most part. Of course, the group before them of Izzie, Querrey, Johnson and Young weren’t exactly illuminating either on the personality side.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2019 at 9:01 am

    Dan if Serena does not want to be referred to as a beast then she has to earn that. Some of her wild outbursts on the court and the threats to officials were beyond beast mode. Talking about charisma and personality, SPadea, Evert, Borg, Mannarino, Davydenko, Dustin Brown, etc showed little of it on court personality wise. I think you may be too demanding about the Americans outward of display of personality on the court. All of them are excellent interviews and fine personalities off court. I think WTA tennis will do just fine after Serena departs, there will be a new rush and vigor with all the girls trying to be the next queen. With Serena around I think it stifles the tour, maybe it’s like having the old mother around at a house party, with the mother trying to fit in and be cool. And the girls can’t let loose with the mother figure affecting the atmosphere. I think every player in the WTA would be happy if Serena retired this week or at US Open.

  • Hartt · August 13, 2019 at 9:28 am

    Dan, I am a bit bewildered that you are so offended by Andreescu’s “beast” comment. She simply meant that Serena is a strong woman in the sense that she has overcome difficult times in the past and will do so again. It is just a figure of speech, not meant to be taken literally. It is the same idea if you make a comment and I say “You’re crazy.” I don’t mean that you are insane, or that you should be offended by my response.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2019 at 9:44 am

    Yes Hartt, when men are said to be a beast in sports competition it’s a compliment, a badge of honor. So when a woman is called a beast, it should be interpreted the same, as a compliment, a praise. After all, men and women are equal they tell us. Anything a man can do so can a woman. Equality. That’s what they keep telling us. Doesn’t make any sense for Dan to be irritated by this form of equality. On the tennis court Serena is a beast like Nadal.

  • Hartt · August 13, 2019 at 9:52 am

    In this context, I think Bianca said it with affection. I am beginning to wonder if “beast” is used in a different way in Canadian English than in American. Here it can be an obvious exaggeration, and as I said, used with affection. I could say to a friend who is getting a lot accomplished, “You are a real beast today!”

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Serena is the ultimate all time beast of the tennis court, Bibi merely spoke the truth. Was it intended as a semi, veiled jab to Serena by the teenager? Probably so. If Serena disapproves of the label of beast and wants to be viewed as a mom and wife, she can always retire.

  • Jeff · August 13, 2019 at 10:40 am

    This has to be the stupidest discussion of all time. Beast is a common compliment that young athletes say all the time; kids love using this.

    They say this in the NBA all the time. “Steph Curry is a beast, dawg!” “LeBron is a beast, yo!” “That James Harden a beast, my man!”

    This is how kids talk all the time. How old are you Dan? You sound like an 80-year-old who isn’t around the youths these days.

  • Andrew Miller · August 13, 2019 at 11:08 am

    Changing topics. Lots of good matches in Cincinnati today for women and the men. It’s a good era for both tours.

    Only thing I lament and it’s the thing I’ll always lament is that few players add to their games or strategies. Evert is very good at seeing this, so too most champions that know the tour so well.

    Players could do worse than listen to what tennis analysts say during their matches.

  • Harold · August 13, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Amazing that they don’t re-seed after the 2 seed pulls out. Kukushkin not only gets in as a lucky loser, but he gets a bye into the 2nd round.

    Wonder if Nadal timed it to the point it was too late to re-seed. That kept Fed on Djokovic side. Fed would not have been able to pass Nadal for number 2 seed in USO.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Today is indeed a super ticket in Cincy, with many good matchups to see. Harold, yes you may be on to something. Well done. Federer has been crowing about wanting the rematch with Djokovic, now he will likely get it. But Djokovic has a history of stepping off the gas in Cincy matches if he loses the first set.

  • catherine · August 13, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Kerber out first match in Cincy to Kontaveit SS. Angie has dug herself into a deep deep hole and just like 2017 I can’t see any bottom to it.

  • Andrew Miller · August 13, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Kontaveit, was waiting for her to catch fire.

  • catherine · August 13, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Kerber’s reached the point of total indifference from the media – her name’s hardly mentioned any more. It is very sad and I just hope that, like before, she can find a new coach and some inspiration for the new year.

  • catherine · August 13, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    Andrew – Kontaveit has 3/4 v Angie so she’s certainly got her number, didn’t have to catch fire. The score was 7-6 6-2 indicating another collapse on K’s part. I don’t know if she has a coach, I haven’t heard, but if she goes into the USO without one it’ll be an early exit.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Kan see Kontaveit breaking out and bekoming a Kerber kaliber star. Impressed also by her Miami Open win vs Hsieh.

  • catherine · August 13, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    Scoop – I’d want to be more than a Kerber kaliber star if I were Kontaveit. I know Angie’s a 3 Slam winner, of course I do, but when she plays like this, clinging to the baseline like a limpet, just performing the same old routines, nothing new, you’d really wish she’d retire. No motivation, nothing in the tank. Yet 31 isn’t that old.

    Fortunately there few spectators visible for this latest mediocre showing.

  • Dan Markowitz · August 13, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Jeff,

    I do t care how old you are, no women wants to be referred to as a “beast.” Yo can’t compare NBA players with WTA players. Is Serena a beast? Absolutely, but I’m sure no one in her camp especially her husband uses that word to describe her and Andreescu was out of line in doing so.

  • Dan Markowitz · August 13, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    It is never a compliment when a woman, especially a black woman, is referred to as a “beast.” Doug Adler lost his tv announcing gig with ESPN for using the word “gorilla” to describe Venus. I promise you no tennis will call Serena a beast. It’s not appropriate or polite.

  • catherine · August 13, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    It’s common among young people, who use language from sport very freely it seems to me and I can assure Dan that many young women wouldn’t mind at all being called a ‘beast’ in the sense Bianca used it. I’d be very surprised if Serena, who is actually no longer young, despite being a wife and mother, took it as anything but a compliment. The Markowitz Book of Etiquette seems a little archaic in 2019.

    I agree with Jeff that this is the stupidest discussion of all time.

    And it’s ‘Andreescu’ not ‘Andersen’. And I’m also sure that women’s tennis will go on attracting attention after Serena retires. There’s always someone around the corner.

  • Dan Markowitz · August 13, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks Catherine, I’m glad you’ve weighed in here on this topic. Until now, I was worried that I might’ve been out of line with bringing up Andreescu calling Serena “a beast,” but now that you’ve said its the “stupidest discussion of all time,” I’m happy to know I must be onto something important.

  • Andrew Miller · August 13, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    Kontaveit is very good – she’s got a nice game. Seriously Estonia must be proud of her, I’m not familiar with anyone from the Baltic republics beyond Gulbis. Kanepi too is from Estonia, I didn’t know that either.

    As for turning that cauldron of potential into big titles. Yeah I stress caution. So many many many players show a world class game on the WTA tour only to come undone on the biggest most grand stages. That’s even in this free for all era.

    That’s one reason why I’d suggest to players – get better every week NOW, while you don’t know any better. A player can’t determine how high they rise or what they’re capable of without building their capacity now.

    My favorite examples have to be Hantuchova and Ginepri. Hantuchova made such a huge huge move winning Indian Wells way back in 2002, no? And Ginepri found something special with his run to the US Open semifinals in 2005.

    It wasn’t like they were competing in a weak era – they weren’t. Higueras somehow convinced Ginepri the hard work was paying off, and Hantuchova was proving her beautiful game could find the lines against the best.

    They weren’t waiting for permission or for their time to come or any of that stupid stuff. There’s no wrong time to upset a higher ranked player.

    As much as I love Agassi, it’s too bad Ginepri didn’t shut the door in the US Open semifinal against Agassi. Ginepri wasn’t going to top Federer but he would have equalled Agassi’s four set performance against Federer and probably would have had more confidence going into 2006.

    Blake, same story. His results began tapering off significantly and slowly but surely dropped out of the top ten then far below it.

    Some of this is the curse of not correcting parts of their game. But some of it is pretending that they have so much time to get better and climb the rankings.

    Some tennis writers have referred to this as a lack of courage. I don’t know if that’s too far off – most of the time I think it’s true.

  • Andrew Miller · August 13, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    Kerber’s career is fantastic. She was going to be only the best German female player – which is great, but that was it. Suddenly she wins two slams in a year, out of nowhere! Then adds a third slam for good measure. Now she’s number four among active players, her career better than more talented players like Kuznetsova, than players with one slam by the virtue of having three. Better than the ultra competitive Muguruza. Or anyone with one slam on the WTA.

    The record books are clear on this. More slams, greater legacy. Kerber has exceeded expectations far beyond what most thought possible and breathed some life into German tennis. German tennis truly wasn’t much over the past two decades without Kerber!

  • Andrew Miller · August 13, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    Yeah, I guess I’m done with the era of super champions. I’ll always like them. I’ll be the first to acknowledge how outstanding the big three have been, Murray, Stanimal, Serena and Sharpie. I marvel at their skill. Their stamina. Preparation. Coaching. But it’s high time for other generations on tour to have a better legacy than cannon fodder.

    Wawrinka basically pulled a Kerber. He broke through the ranks of super champions. I’m sure he said it was worth it.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    Dan, Then Serena has to refine the way she competes and restrain her emotional outbursts to be more elegant and classy than beastly. You a behave like a beast on the court, then be prepared to be described as one. Andreescu has every right to say whatever she wants about anyone, in whatever terms. If Serena objects, let her make an issue of it in private.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    Dan I disagree, a woman who competes with the ferocity of Serena, who threatens bodily harm on officials in the heat of battle, who roars and screams like a jungle animal on the court, who smashes her equipment into smithereens, could be equated to a beast.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    Catherine you and Jeff are right it’s a silly ridiculous discussion, but feel the need to defend Andreescu regarding this.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    Agassi beating Blake and Ginepri was devastating at the time, Blake was doing something special and a win in that match might have vaulted him to ha Slam. But the old timer was too tough. Same deal with Ginepri. Agassi killed two careers that week, he broke the dreams of two very talented American players who faded after that loss.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    Remember, Kerber was a middle of the pack player for years, and was even about to retire but Petko talked her out of it and drove to meet her and they trained together for weeks and Petko inspired Kerber to keep battling and the rest is history, Kerber won three majors. Kerber’s career is book and movie rights worthy and that’s rare these days in tennis.

  • Andrew Miller · August 13, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    Scoop, Agassi deflated Ginepri, but Blake did fine afterwards – a career year in 2006 and a good 2007. Ginepri, arguably, was upset by Pat McEnroe’s decision to play Blake over Ginepri for Davis Cup, going with the strong but much lower ranked Blake, with Ginepri probably thinking, “man, I can’t win, no matter what I do…”

    Here’s that context.

    “It will be my feel based on who I think is playing better,” McEnroe said of his pick for the second singles. “It will probably be a camp decision, a decision I make there. I probably wont have them play challenge matches per say because I think they are both beyond that. Basically what I said to both of them is I want you to come in with the attitude that you’re going to play. This time I think they’re both playing well enough, they both deserve to come in with that mentality that they don’t have to prove something — they don’t have to prove anything. They’re proven it this summer with how well they’re doing.”

  • Andrew Miller · August 13, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    I like Pat McEnroe, but I didn’t like how he managed Davis Cup. You go with the best team you can. I didn’t like his opting for Fish over Spadea in 2004 (the U.S. didn’t have a chance either way – red clay in the heart of Spain against Moya and company? Don’t like those odds). I didn’t like his decision in 2005 to recruit Blake over Ginepri after Ginepri earned better results and a higher ranking (a better outing in Cincinnati put Ginepri over the top, I think, plus you one round further to the US Open semi – it would be some time before a non Roddick, non Agassi player would make a slam semifinal!).

  • Hartt · August 13, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    Dan, surely you know that Adler used the word “guerilla,” not “gorilla” and sued ESPN. He has been reinstated.

  • Dan Markowitz · August 13, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    Serena might play hard; she might show ferocity, but that doesn’t mean you have to call her a beast. Navratilova played really hard and so did BJK and I don’t think anyone called them beasts. Look what Adler said about Venus that she was a gorilla (even though he said he was using the word, guerilla, totally different meaning) got him fired from ESPN. The words “gorilla” and “beast” have pretty much the same meaning. I’m not condemning Andreescu for calling Serena a beast. Andreescu seems like she has a great spirit to go along with her great game. I’m just questioning her wisdom or maturity in using the word which as others have said now has a somewhat positive connotation, but generally is a pejorative word.

  • Harold · August 13, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    Adler didnt call Venus a gorilla, he said she was using gorilla tactics

  • Jeff · August 13, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    This is the final word on this inane “beast” topic. It comes from basketball and women call each other beast all the time.

    Here is a WNBA clip of women’s basketball player Diana Taurasi and note the caption… https://www.pinterest.com/pin/308778118171428313/

    Here is a Tweet from Tina Thompson describing Diana as a beast… https://twitter.com/iamtinathompson/status/767085329249689604

    This is a common and complimentary term in young people jargon and anyone who has a problem with it is political correctness run amok.

    As my daughter would say, Dan, “Take a chill pill!”

  • Jeff · August 13, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    OK I lied. One more thing. Lenny Krawitz has a hit song called “She’s a beast”

    Please let’s move on and discuss something more worthwhile. Like Beatrice Bouchard’s Instagram! I found out she is in fact a paid professional model.

    Meanwhile Kyrgios unsurprisingly added to Laver Cup. His three tweener per set antics are well suited for that, though I won’t mind watching Federer destroy him yet again.

  • Dan Markowitz · August 13, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    Didn’t know that, Hartt. Not up on everything Doug Adler. If that’s the case then, how come I haven’t hide nor hair of him on ESPN?

  • Jeff · August 13, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    Here’s a tweet from Tina Thompson calling Diana Taurasi a beast… https://twitter.com/iamtinathompson/status/767085329249689604

    For some reason, it didn’t pass the moderators before.

  • Hartt · August 13, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    Dan, there were several press reports when ESPN settled with Adler, including one by Charlie Ecclesworth of the Telegraph. I don’t want to use up my “Premium” Telegraph articles, but this from news.au.com is consistent with what was reported at the time.

    “Sources claim — without ESPN’s dispute — that Adler received a monetary settlement and has even been returned to ESPN’s payroll and could return to work tennis events for the network.”

    Adler felt his reputation had been destroyed by the accusation of racism, and he suffered a heart attack shortly after the initial controversy.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    Harold, wrong…guerilla tennis, which was the name of a 90s Nike ad campaign with Agassi and Sampras. Adler was falsely demonized as a racist.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    Beast was not a word used in sports in the 70s, it became popular in the 90s or 2000s now its part of the sporrs lexicon and culture. It caught on and stuck like the “it is What it is” phrase popularized.

  • Jeff · August 13, 2019 at 11:13 pm

    Scoop you are correct, the 2000s was when it was popular. I remember Brandon Jenkins – the NY Giants running back – telling Eli Manning, “you a beast boy!” when the Giants slayed the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

    It’s really big in basketball and Andreescu no doubt follows the NBA since the Raptors won the NBA title. Kids love that type of stuff, Kyrgios says it a lot too in practice.

    Another good one I learned is “on fleek” It means something like really cool.

    As you may guess, I teach in a high school so I first-hand hear a lot of this stuff in rap lyrics, conversations, whatnot. You gotta speak the language of millennials somewhat to engage them otherwise they will tune you out.

  • Jeff · August 13, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    Many ATP players including Fritz and Murray outraged that Tommy Paul denied a wild card into the U.S. Open.

    Word is that the USTA is still miffed that Tommy and Steve Johnson got a doubles wildcard 2 years ago and tanked 0 and 0 against Bollelli and Fognini in the first round. I don’t think I have seen many Slam doubles matches end in double bagels so I don’t think I can blame them if this is the case,

  • Andrew Miller · August 14, 2019 at 12:40 am

    Dimitrov should have beat Wawrinka going away. Grigor has such a nice game. I’d like to see Grigor do better. He can start by winning these matches!

    Too many rallies. But with Wawrinka it’s hard. Technically he should drop shot Stanimal. Again, players reluctant to “play like Kyrgios” and sacrifice some beauty for some points.

  • Dan Markowitz · August 14, 2019 at 6:30 am

    Come on, people, let’s be real, “beast” is a word black people mostly use with or to describe other black people. “Nigger” is also a word black people use with or to describe other black people. I too Jeff taught in high school, in the Inner City, and I heard my students refer to their friends as “Nigger” this and “Nigger” that, I didn’t presume that I should use that word too.

    Now the Andreescu case is a bit different. I never heard her speak until that exchange with Serena and maybe she’s more street than most Romanian Canadians. But I’ll tell you this, I bet you your bottom dollar that if Serena wasn’t upset with the “beast” comment, I’m sure she was surprised by it. I don’t think Serena travels in circles where she’s called a “beast” too often. I mean the woman wears a lot of frilly dresses onto the court; she has her nails painted and her done very stylishly for a tennis player; she does a pirouette for god sake’s after she wins matches and waves to the crowd in a feminine way. I’m sure she doesn’t think of herself as being “a beast” and that’s not the image she’s trying to convey.

    Andrew, what do you mean “technically” Dimitrov should’ve drop shot Wawa more? Are you suggesting he didn’t want to use that shot because he thought it would be beneath his stylish game?A player’s going to do whatever he can do to win a match.

  • jg · August 14, 2019 at 6:32 am

    The outrage is justified, why would Sock get a wildcard into the main draw, he hasn’t won a match in ages, not sure he could win a first round qualifying match. He should have played some challengers and let’s see how he does. Steve Johnson is playing some challengers now, and he won one last week. Query played some challengers a few some years ago and won them all, let’s see what Sock can do. If he plays a qualifier first round there will be tremendous pressure on him, for his sake I hope it’s not Tommy Paul. There are so many other players who deserve and financially need a wildcard, why give it to Sock who will clearly get into the doubles main draw anyway, and could qualify for singles.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 14, 2019 at 7:29 am

    It’s a stretch to try to racialize beast into as offensive a word as “nigger.” Beast is a popular term in thr sports lexicon and a badge of honor to be called it. If Serena wants to take issue with Andreescu about it, let her. Otherwise Dan you are just trying to ignite racism where none exists.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 14, 2019 at 7:33 am

    Brandon Jacobs was a beast for the Giants but didn’t last long, liked to drink alcohol too much and his body broke down.

  • Hartt · August 14, 2019 at 7:34 am

    It is bewildering that Tommy Paul did not get a WC for the USO. It’s not as though the other choices are brilliant players.

    “Denis Kudla, Marcos Giron and Bjorn Fratangelo join Zachara Zvajda, this year’s 18s winner at Kalamazoo, and Ernesto Escobedo, the winner of the USTA’s wild card challenge

    UPDATE: Denis Kudla has now qualified for main draw as a result of Juan Martin del Potro’s withdrawal and Chris Eubanks has scooped up the final wild card.” (Tennis Now)

    Taylor Fritz was outraged that Tommy Paul was passed over.

    “How does @TommyPaul1
    not get a WC??? He’s ranked higher then everyone else…has been playing well recently…served for first set last 2 weeks against top 10 players…. like HOW ?!?!?”

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 14, 2019 at 7:37 am

    Dimitrov has zero confidence right now.

  • Andrew Miller · August 14, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Tommy’s ranking wasn’t high enough, and he’s better off qualifying and winning a few rounds. Harrison did that a few years ago. It was a lot better for him.

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