Bianca Andreescu claimed her first WTA title on Sunday at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. This is the Canadian’s seventh singles title on the professional tour, having been crowned champion at six ITF tournaments since 2016.

At only 18 years old, Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, ON) takes home her first title on the WTA tour after reaching the final earlier this year at a tournament in Auckland. In the past two weeks, she has defeated a number of experienced and accomplished players including Elina Svitolina, world no. 6 and champion of the WTA finals in 2018, and Angelique Kerber, world no. 8 and three-time Grand Slam champion.

It was quite the final between Andreescu and Kerber. The Mississauga native raced off to a great start, but her level dipped in the second, and Kerber stepped up ger game bringing the match to a decider. Andreescu dug deep to overcome the heat, exhaustion and fatigue to take the match in dramatic fashion by a score of 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

With her historic victory, the 18-year-old Canadian becomes the first Canadian to win a Premier Mandatory singles title and the first Canadian to win a WTA singles title since Eugenie Bouchard was crowned champion in Nuremberg, Germany in 2014. She also become the first Wild Card to win the title in Indian Wells and the youngest player to be crowned champion since Serena Williams won back in 1999.

With the crowd behind her throughout the entire match, Andreescu made sure to thank her supporters. “I would like to thank the amazing crowd and everyone who came out to watch my matches this week. This tournament wouldn’t be possible without you. I would also like to thank my parents who sacrificed so much so that I could pursue my dreams and my team for being there for me throughout the years. It means so much to be able to share this moment with you, ” said Andreescu after her victory. “I hope this can be an inspiration for other young athletes. As I always say, if you believe in yourself, anything is possible.”

This victory allows Andreescu to break into the WTA Top 50 for the first time in her career, peaking at a career-high world no. 24. Her performance in Indian Wells allowed her to jump over 30 spots in the WTA rankings.

“I am incredibly proud of Bianca. She has worked extremely hard and had to overcome a number of obstacles to get to this point in her career. She is showing that she has the game to keep up with and defeat some of the best players in the world. This is an important moment in her young career and I am certain that there are many more to come,” stated Sylvain Bruneau after Sunday’s final.

Andreescu is off to an outstanding start to the year, having notched five wins over Top 20 players as well as a significant win over Venus Williams. She was crowned champion at the WTA 125K tournament in Newport Beach and helped lead the Canadian Fed Cup team to victory in the Netherlands. Andreescu also made a number of deep runs since January, including the final in Auckland and the semi-finals in Acapulco. Next up for the young Canadian is the Miami Open, which begins next week.