Politics

Bianca Andreescu, Canada’s rising tennis star, attracts a crowd — of politicians

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Bianca Andreescu is the girl of the moment, and on the day she was honoured by her hometown of Mississauga, Ont., there probably wasn’t a politician within 50 miles who wasn’t going to be on the same stage with her.

The first Canadian to win a U.S. Open championship — and at the tender age of 19 — Andreescu showed that her fashion chops are almost as stellar as her tennis ones.

She wore khaki pants, a black lacy top and sky-high heels, and endearingly revealed that her goal was “not to trip” in them.

Interestingly, as her win over the legendary Serena Williams a week ago has already seen Tennis Canada deluged with calls from youngsters wanting to take up the sport, so did her presence seem to have a salutary effect upon the politicians in attendance.

They were there certainly, but universally as gracious as the Queen B herself. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie was good enough to invite Toronto Mayor John Tory and see that former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion, now 97, also got a special introduction.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who plunged into the huge crowd at Celebration Square to the usual warm welcome, stood by Andreescu on stage and made a nice speech that was properly all about her.


Bianca Andreescu’s parents Maria Andreescu and Nicu Andreescu watch as Bianca Andreescu of Canada plays Belinda Bencic of Switzerland during their semi-finals women’s Singles match at the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 5, 2019.

TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP

“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!” Trudeau shouted into a microphone.

He thanked Andreescu’s parents, immigrants from Romania, for moving to Canada before she was born.

“In this country, anything is possible, and you and so many Mississaugans have proven it!” Trudeau said.

Later, as the event was winding down and those on stage were leaving, Trudeau spent a few quiet minutes talking to McCallion. She endorsed him in 2015, and they probably know one another reasonably well, but it was nonetheless a nice nod to an old campaigner who fought more than a few wars herself.

The Bianca love-in capped a long bus ride from Ottawa to Mississauga and Markham (for a candidate’s rally) for the Liberal leader, with coffee shop drop-ins in Cobourg, Ont., on Lake Ontario east of Toronto, where hundreds of people lined up in the rain to catch a glimpse of Trudeau.

Trudeau visited two local coffee shops in Cobourg with local candidate Kim Rudd. Rudd won the seat for Liberals in 2015 by fewer than 2,000 votes — one of several tight races in the 905 region.

Trudeau and Rudd were greeted warmly by most residents they encountered at the two coffee shops he visited.

All of his campaign stops Sunday were in southern-Ontario districts the Liberals have to win if they’re going to be re-elected.

On Monday the Liberal campaign will remain in southwestern Ontario.

National Post with files from The Canadian Press

cblatchford@postmedia.com

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