Bianca Andreescu spoke candidly about her mental health after her long-awaited return to the court on Tuesday.
Andreescu, the 2019 U.S. Open winner from Mississauga, Ont., made her season debut after taking a hiatus from a physically gruelling 2021 season. The 21-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 in April 2021 and fell out of form throughout the year, finishing the season at No. 46 in the world rankings.
Following her 7-6 (5), 6-3 victory over Germany's Jule Niemeier at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Andreescu opened up to reporters.
“I was struggling a lot, mentally,” Andreescu said via. “I wasn’t enjoying myself out there. Really, I identified myself too much with the sport, whenever I lost. It sounds a bit dramatic but I hated myself, and if I won, I loved myself, it was kind of like that.”
Andreescu in a much better place mentally - here's what she told Heinz Guenthardt on court after the win in Stuttgart. pic.twitter.com/25K6023ES0
— Chris Oddo (@TheFanChild) April 19, 2022
"A lot of days, I did not feel like myself, especially while I was training and/or playing matches. I felt like I was carrying the world on my shoulders," she said. "I could not detach myself from everything that was going on off the court; was feeling the collective sadness and turmoil around and it took its toll on me."
It’s an honest admission from Andreescu, who is expected by many to return to the top of her game this season, after ranking as high as No. 4 in the world following her dynamic 2019 season. At 21 years old, Andreescu has both the requisite experience and relative youth to ascend through the rankings once again.
Prior to Tuesday’s match, Andreescu told reporters that she had seriously contemplated quitting tennis altogether.
“I’m being really honest here, but I actually wanted to quit the sport. It was really bad. I am privileged in a way for having this opportunity and doing all of this. Now I’m grateful, more than ever. So I don’t want people to think, ‘Oh you’re a little baby, just suck it up.’ But it was an accumulation of two-and-a-half years. A lot had happened and I just didn’t want to deal with anything anymore,” Andreescu told .
Andreescu, who entered Stuttgart as a wild card ranked No. 121, is scheduled to face No. 3 Aryna Sabalenka in the round of 16 on Thursday.
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