US Open champion and new local hero Bianca Andreescu was honoured in Mississauga, her hometown in Canada, with a grand rally that was attended by thousands of people, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie presented the Grand Slam winner with the key to the city on Sunday and revealed the name of the street to be named after her: Andreescu Way.
Andreescu beat Serena Williams in the US Open final to become Canada’s first Grand Slam singles champion. Andreescu’s stunning 6-3, 7-5 victory at Flushing Meadows denied Williams a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.
Occasionally breaking out into “She the North” chants, tens of thousands of people attended the rally at Celebration Square.
Saying she was blessed, 19-year old Andreescu said, “Well, this is crazy. This is crazy. I never thought I would have my own parade before, let alone the key to the city and a street named after me.”
“I am truly blessed. I did not get here overnight. There has been a lot of hard work and sweat that went into it, a lot of downs, a lot of ups,” she added. “I’m really glad I never gave up because I wouldn’t be standing here with everyone. If I can do it, if Serena can do it, if Roger (Federer) can do it, if the Raptors can do it, so can you.”
— Bianca (@Bandreescu_) September 16, 2019
Campaigning for a second term, Trudeau said, “She is an inspiration to all Canadians old and young, but to be honest, especially an inspiration to young Canadians because she showed that young people can do anything.”
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) September 16, 2019
The tennis player’s achievement is a major boost to Canadian sport after Toronto Raptors claimed the NBA championship in June. The ‘We the North’ slogan of the Raptors was modified to ‘She the North’ in her honour.
Toronto Mayor John Tory, who was also in attendance at the rally, announced September 16 as ‘Bianca Andreescu Day’ in Toronto.