Louis Borfiga is the architect of Tennis Canada’s development program, and after the match, he found Sylvain Bruneau, Andreescu’s coach, and they shared a hug in the players’ lounge.
“This is incredible for Canada and Canadian Tennis,” Bruneau said. “It is our biggest moment. We don’t have too much of a tennis history, but we are trying to build it. And you know what? It makes me so happy for every tennis fan in the country that Bianca is able to provide moments like this. She can attract more people to tennis. We can make it even more popular.”
A few hundred Canadian fans, including Vong, gathered behind the ESPN set on the grounds to celebrate, too. They cheered and waved their flags while Andreescu was interviewed, and roared when she held her trophy up to them.
Andreescu, whose parents are from Romania and moved to Canada in 1994, was born in Mississauga, Ontario, in 2000, and considers herself a product of a welcoming nation.
“Canada is such an amazing country,” she said. “It’s so multicultural. I had no trouble growing up having Romanian parents whatsoever. That’s why I love my country so, so much.”
Panda Vallecilla, a psychologist from Toronto, and two friends watched Andreescu’s second-round win over Kirsten Flipkens on little Court 5 last week. The three Canadian comrades went back to Canada for work but vowed that if Andreescu made it to the final, they would return.
Vallecilla and his friends made red hats that read, “She The North” — a play on the Raptors’ rallying cry, “We the North.” They wore shirts with Andreescu’s likeness on the front and Felix Auger-Aliassime’s on the back. Auger-Aliassime is one of several young Canadian players, including Denis Shapovalov, Eugenie Bouchard and Andreescu, striving to raise the profile of Canadian tennis.