It was a historic night on the tennis courts in New York for Canada.
At 19-years-old Bianca Andreescu became the first Canadian tennis player to win, not only the US Open, but a Grand Slam title. She beat arguably the best women’s tennis player of all-time, Serena Williams, in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5.
At the beginning of the year Andreescu was ranked 152nd in the world. After Saturday’s win she will climb up to No. 5.
Andreescu performed in front of a hostile crowd that was hoping Williams would take home a record 24th Grand Slam title. That crowd even included royalty cheering against her with Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, making the trip from England to watch her friend Williams.
Shortly after the monumental moment for Canadian tennis, athletes and celebrities from around the world took to social media to congratulate the Mississauga native and make #SheTheNorth one of the top trending topics on twitter.
Andreescu’s break-out year is expected to provide a huge boost to Canadian tennis.
“It inspires everyone to pick up a racket, whether it’s kids or adults,” said Tennis Canada vice-president Tulla Bateman. “Everybody’s talking about Bianca.”
Andreescu is particularly popular among the Romanian-Canadian community, who are already counting her among the greats.
Adrian Ardelean, a Montreal-based Romanian radio host, was at a viewing party at a local bar to glean some reaction for his weekly show on Sunday.
“We are a lot of Romanians and all – well I guess almost all – are fans of Bianca because of her Romanian roots,” he said.
“There’s been an explosion in her career and we hope she’ll be able to continue because she’s been able to string together a lot of strong matches.”
Toronto’s Romanian community – which is double the size of Montreal’s roughly 50,000 – is planning a party to honour Andreescu’s exploits, regardless of what happened at the US Open.
Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report