A year ago, an 18-year-old Bianca Andreescu had entered the qualifying draw at the ASB Classic, passing all the obstacles to reach the first WTA final and gather momentum for the rest of the season. As we all know, the rest is pretty much history, as the young Canadian conquered the world of tennis by storm to become Indian Wells, Toronto and the US Open champion and crack the top-5!
In 2019, Bianca qualified for the Australian Open main draw and scored the first victory in Melbourne, standing as one of the favorites in three weeks if she recovers from that knee injury suffered at the WTA Finals at the end of October.
The Australian doubles legend Todd Woodbridge picks Bianca as the main favorite for the Australian Open crown, urging her to repeat what Naomi Osaka did in 2018-19 when she claimed back-to-back Majors in New York and Melbourne.
After that sensational run at Indian Wells where she became the youngest champion since Serena Williams, Bianca suffered a nasty shoulder injury in Miami, staying away from the court until Toronto and New York where she was back at her best, conquering two titles and becoming the first teenager with a Major title since Maria Sharapova in 2006.
Securing her place at the WTA Finals, Andreescu wasted a massive opportunity to beat Simona Halep before experiencing a left knee injury versus Karolina Pliskova, staying away from the court ever since and withdrawing from the ASB Classic that takes place next week.
The Canadian will try to recover for the Australian Open and continue her streak at Majors, proving she can deliver her best tennis against more experienced rivals from the top-10 and challenge them for the biggest titles.
"I'm going to go with Andreescu, the US Open champion," Woodbridge said. "I like the way Naomi Osaka won the title in Melbourne, using the momentum from the US Open 2018 and Andreescu could do the same.
I feel that Bianca still has a boost after what she achieved in 2019. She had that big break in the middle of the year and I think she should be fresh for Melbourne despite that injury from the WTA Finals. Bianca is a gun; I love her technique and that's one of the crucial elements in tennis. She doesn't break under pressure and I back her to win the Australian Open."