April 29, 2022
B. ANDREESCU/A. Riske
6-4, 3-6, 6-0
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you just give us your thoughts initially on the match, how you thought you played and adjusted and got the win?
BIANCA ANDREESCU: Yeah, I felt like I went into the match with the right mindset, with the right tactics. I definitely have to give credit to her, because I think she played really well in the first and second set.
If I didn't win the first set, who knows what would have happened in the second, you know. But I definitely, in my next match, I wanted to work more on my composure. I felt like that kind of got the best of me a little bit in the second set.
But I kind of just switched something on afterwards, like in the third, because that's basically how I want to play. So I want to be able to consistently play that way. But overall I'm happy.
Q. Back at a 1000 again. You have done well at these kind of tournaments. How does it feel to be in the mix again at this sort of level?
BIANCA ANDREESCU: Yeah, it's amazing. I have never actually played this tournament before. You feel like you're at a Grand Slam, like everything, the organization, the food, everything is just perfect. I love the courts.
So it definitely feels good to be in an environment like this again.
Q. I haven't seen you in a while, so I want to ask you a little bit about the period before coming back. A couple of things. Choosing to step away and take care of your mental health and all that, how easy or difficult of a decision was it?
BIANCA ANDREESCU: It was one of the toughest decisions I have had to make in my career. It didn't come overnight, like I have been feeling some sort of way up until that point for maybe about like actually maybe three months. I was going to say two, but maybe even longer.
I didn't want to continue putting the people close to me through what I was going through. Not only for myself but for them too because I love them so much. I just felt like it wasn't fair.
I thought of different scenarios, like, Okay, I stop after Indian Wells and then what happens? I take a month off? Will things really change? I don't know.
So I kind of didn't put a time on it. I just wanted to figure out, you know, what's good for me and what's not good for me. I was luckily able to figure that out in five months.
It's pretty long, but at the same time, it's not. But I think I really used my time wisely. Now I can't say that I regret that decision. I think it was one of the best ever.
Q. Speaking of using your time wisely, what are some of the things perhaps that you did during those five months that were enriching for you and maybe gave you a different perspective? Anything you can share about that?
BIANCA ANDREESCU: For sure. I have spoken about this already. I did some charity work which kind of brings me back to like my main goal, which is to help others.
I kind of want to just use my platform, which is tennis, to widen that variety. So being in that position really reminded me why I actually play the sport.
I did other things outside of tennis. I picked up martial arts. I took dance lessons. I played a lot of basketball. Yeah, just a bunch of stuff.
I started making some music as well again, because I started that during the quarantine back in 2020. But I kind of picked it up again. I hung out with a bunch of my friends, kind of got a lot of stuff out of my system, including, you know, spending time with family. I just kind of regrouped, basically.
Q. When you say "charity work," was it more volunteer work? Was it more certain projects? Can you talk a little bit about the interactions that you have had during that time?
BIANCA ANDREESCU: Yeah, it was mainly volunteer work. I volunteered at a women's domestic violence shelter. I also volunteered at a SickKids Hospital. I did some videos for some patients that were struggling a lot physically. Just to see the look on their face like, you know, they did reaction videos, just makes my whole day. So I'm very grateful for that experience.
Q. Curious how you chose that cause, the domestic violence, to get behind.
BIANCA ANDREESCU: Yeah, I feel that it's not something that not discussed often, first of all. It's starting to be more discussed now. There's a lot more awareness on that.
I know some people in my life that have gone through something like that, and it's one of the most traumatic things ever, and a bunch of other things I'm not going to go into detail about but I felt super connected with it. Who knows, maybe one day I will create my own thing. I have a lot of ideas that I don't know exactly yet if, you know, I'm going to do this or that or that, but I definitely have ideas, and like actually being in that environment really helps me to, you know, eventually come to that decision.
Q. When you were ready to come back, how did you know?
BIANCA ANDREESCU: Oh, I don't think I knew for sure. I don't think you ever really know 100% sure with things like that at least, but weeks prior to that I just kept feeling this urge of wanting to compete again and wanting to practice and challenge myself and push myself like I did before, obviously in a different way, but I just felt that urge.
So one week I was like, Maybe it's time. I spoke to my team and, you know, they kind of like quizzed me to see where I'm at. They're like, Yeah, I think you're ready too.
Q. How did some of the experiences that you had at the domestic violence women's shelter and all that, I guess, give you perspective, if it did, on certain things? In general, tennis nowadays is on a day-to-day basis. What's happening in the world is spilling over into the sport, so instead of usually it's just tennis there is a war going on and there was a pandemic and all that. So just in general, how do you view tennis at the moment?
BIANCA ANDREESCU: I actually spoke to a couple of women and their stories of what they went through, and if I go into detail I'm going to cry, because it's like the saddest thing ever.
There is this one lady who was basically running away from her husband that wanted to kill her, like that kind of stuff. It's just absurd things. I can't believe any human being has to go through that.
Just being in that environment really, first of all, makes me appreciate my life. Like I said before, for me, tennis is just a platform that I love, now I love it again, to, yeah, basically help and contribute to a better world in a way.
That's kind of how I'm viewing tennis. I'm not identifying myself with the sport anymore, because I felt like last year, if I lost, I hated myself. If I won, it was like the best thing ever. Last year I was losing way more than I was winning, I think. I don't know exactly my record. I was in the right place, but now I'm viewing tennis as just another opportunity to get better as a person and it's something I'm passionate about, so I want to enjoy myself out there.
Q. I know this tournament has done actually things for domestic violence and messaging about it in the past. I know the ATP is looking into their own policies about it and stuff like that. I'm wondering if you think there is more the sports world can do, or since you have this platform, like you were saying with tennis, that you hope to capitalize on this specific issue or this topic?
BIANCA ANDREESCU: Yeah, of course. I mean, with things like that, I think the first step is just bringing awareness to it, if more women can, you know, share their story. Even in a sports environment, I'm sure -- I mean, I don't know, but maybe there is like instances here and there with like coaches or trainers, I have no idea, because I have never been through anything like that, and I don't know anyone who has personally, but if women can just like step out of their -- actually, Pam, sorry, I can't believe I forgot about that. She spoke about that. I'm sure just by that example, many women might feel more comfortable speaking out about it, and, you know, get the justice they deserve.
For me, little things like with what I'm doing with the shelter that I was volunteering at, just donating things like food or pans so that they can cook, because they have their own shelter there, their own rooms, I remember they were telling me that they were running out of a lot of this stuff, especially during the pandemic. So just little stuff like that can go a long way.
Q. Coming out of Stuttgart and obviously playing Sabalenka to three sets and hitting some good peaks in your game in that match, now that you have gotten some matches under your belt, where are you feeling in terms of development? Are you feeling leaps and bounds from match to match? Is it still just the consistency of level that you're finding? What's your kind of take?
BIANCA ANDREESCU: I would say it's more of a, like, trying to stay consistent sort of thing, because I do feel like I'm a little bit like up and down.
But at the same time, I don't want to put too much pressure on myself, but also, I want to, you know, be firm with myself. Like if I am lacking, I want to be, like, Yo, Bianca, step-up-your-game type of thing.
That all comes from me, at the end of the day, like I have been putting in the work, and training is not the same as actually competing. So my goal is for that not to come too much later into the season and hopefully in the next couple of matches.
Q. I believe you play Collins next. I was speaking to Danielle, she was raving about you, respect that you walked away when you needed and came back. Curious with Danielle especially, her story, lots of health issues and what she did in Australia, were you following what she was doing? What do you make of her and the matchup?
BIANCA ANDREESCU: Yeah, I followed a little bit. Like I said, awareness. Just talking about it can help so much. You know, owning your story and being vulnerable is a very -- it's a skill. It's a strength. So I condone her for that.
I have watched many of her matches, actually enjoy watching her play. I know it's going to be a tough match. She's a very strong competitor, but hopefully I can pull it off.
Q. In Madrid here, Simona Halep won. Do you think the altitude in Madrid suits your attacking game? Osaka? Madrid is different than other cities because of that.
BIANCA ANDREESCU: Yeah, I noticed in practice that my balls are moving quicker than in other places, which in a way it's good, but at the same time I really need to control that, because sometimes I feel like my balls are flying obviously.
But I think the more matches I play it will get better. But I like it. I really like it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports