Bianca Meets The Diva Of The Baseline And It Ends In Tears
Bianca Andreescu learned many valuable lessons in winning the title at the Canadian WTA championship this weekend. She leaned that she has more than enough game to win at this level. She learned that her conditioning will be.a vital piece of her success. She learned that the Canadian media will go crazy for her. And she learned she can drive opponents crazy with her high-maintenance dramas in between shots.
She also learned that no one upstages Serena Williams— even when the Diva of the Baseline loses to you by withdrawing with an injury. She has only to cast her mind back to last year’s U.S. Own Final where a Serena Storm completely overshadowed Naomi Osaka’s win. Here’s how we described the Serena Storm last September.
“After losing her first set, Williams was assessed a penalty point for getting coaching from her coach in the stands (a tennis no-no that beggars explanation). This commenced a Serena tirade against the chair umpire Carlos Ramos.
When Ramos assessed her another penalty point for breaking her racket in a fit of pique, the tirade went ballistic. Williams demanded an apology from Ramos for saying she cheated. She accused the chair (and tennis in general) of bias against women. When Williams called Ramos a thief for stealing points from her, he assessed her a game penalty, putting her one game from elimination.
With Williams in tears, U.S. Open officials tried to mend fences. To no avail. A distraught Williams lost to first-timer Naomi Osaka. During the winner's ceremony, the crowd rained boos down on the whole fiasco. Williams begged them to give Osaka, also in tears, her moment of glory. As if.
In the postgame, Williams’ coach admitted he was coaching (“Everyone does it,” he explained). But Williams— who’s probably the only thing worth watching in women’s tennis most days— stuck to her no-coaching stance. She then pivoted to the bias against women in tennis and appealed for equity.
While Ramos choosing a Grand Slam final to make a point about the absurd coaching rules of tennis was probably ill-advised, Williams herself was the architect of her demise. Williams has a well-documented history of abusing officials (she threatened to f**k up a line judge who displeased her and she’s berated others during competition) and her threats to the official were naked intimidation.
But her put-upon message was predictably embraced by the SJW crowd. The insecurity of the women in tennis has a real genesis (see the Billie Jean King movie Battle of the Sexes). They’ve often been made to feel that they’re an add-on to the more prestigious men’s Tour. While much has changed the gods of tennis have often misplayed this insecurity.
But extrapolating Williams’ temper tantrum into a cause celebre for all women is another groaner for many. A woman worth hundreds millions going ballistic on a puny judge being relayed to the world on TV? Please.
Still, Williams will be celebrated. Her choleric moment will be portrayed as a triumph for equal pay for equal work. Which is kinda’ funny, because women winners get the same prize money playing best-of-three sets while men must endure best-of-five. You won’t see that in a Nike ad.”
But, just as she has mastered the top level of women’s tennis in just 19 years, Bianca is also a quick learner on the Serena file. With tears streaming down Williams’ face as she sat in her chair, Bianca took control and bolted over to Serena’s side to commiserate. Claiming she has always been Serena’s biggest fan she hunched down right in front of La Principessa to have her moment of schadenfreude.
"Oh God, this sucks,” she told Williams, who briefly seemed a might taken aback at Bianca’s affrontery. “I've watched you for your whole career ... you're a f------ beast." Bianca then— as if they’ve been friends forever— turned the conversation to her own injury issues in her so-far young career. And to reveal she knew about the tattoos on William’s back.
She then went on to hug it out with Williams, commiserating that the Great Lady will soon be in fighting trim again. With that she took her (deserved) curtain calls.
Serena quickly composed herself at the postgame presser, describing Andreescu as “an old soul”, by which we assume she was not calling the precocious Canadian “an old sole”.
Having seen Cinderella meet the Queen, perhaps the only regrettable outcome from Toronto is that the 37-year-old Williams will only be playing for a little while longer. A Serena/ Bianca rivalry would be a thing to treasure forever.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the publisher of his website (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com). He’s also a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster, he is also a best-selling author whose new book Cap In Hand: How Salary Caps Are Killing Pro Sports And Why The Free Market Could Save Them is now available on brucedowbigginbooks.ca