What a year this has been as both the Toronto Raptors and Andreescu authored two major Canadian sports firsts within a span of only a few months.
In hockey terms, these twin events have been akin to how Americans celebrated Team U.S.A. in the Miracle on Ice in 1980. There should be a Bianca movie about this moment.
Toronto can be forgiven if it now thinks it’s at the center of the sporting universe.
“It’s something in the water,” Matt Vong, an engineer from Vancouver who lives in New York, told The New York Times. “The Raptors and now Bianca. It is kind of similar. They showed zero fear.”
People will remember where they were when the Raptors won the NBA championship in June.
And now people will remember where they were when Andreescu became the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles tennis title (Daniel Nestor has won multiple Grand Slam doubles titles).
It’s impossible to answer, but what sporting achievement was more improbable: The Raptors becoming the first team outside the United States to win the NBA championship, or Andreescu, who didn’t even qualify for the main draw of the U.S. Open a year ago, beating the best women’s player in tennis history?
Perhaps the Raptors get the nod here because they’ve struggled for much longer than the 19-year-old Andreescu and the build-up to their success took the nation on a rollercoaster ride for longer than Andreescu did for tennis fans in Canada.
The Raptors had to go through the dynasty of the Golden State Warriors, while Andreescu had to go through Williams, who will go down as the greatest female tennis player ever.