Andreescu, Medvedev Capture Tennis' Spotlight Following U.S. Open
After defeating Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final on Saturday, 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu has "skyrocketed to the forefront of tennis as the sports' new superstar," according to Mark Masters of TSN.ca (9/8). SPORTSNET.ca's Stephen Brunt notes Andreescu's win, the first Grand Slam victory by a Canadian in the history of the sport, has propelled her "from obscurity to full-on national sports hero" (SPORTSNET.ca, 9/8). In Toronto, Steve Simmons noted in a little more than a few months, Andreescu has gone from "barely known, to known, to household, to all-time great." Simmons: "This is both history and a beginning on the major international stage" (TORONTO SUN, 9/8). The GLOBE & MAIL's Cathal Kelly writes, "This next decade belongs to Andreescu. Out of nowhere, she no longer has any Canadian peers in terms of fame and reach" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/8). The CP noted #SheTheNorth was trending on Twitter Saturday during and after the match. Andreescu’s achievement was "recognized by many" on the site, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (CP, 9/8). THE RINGER's Chris Almeida wrote Andreescu's win "cemented her as a fixture in the future of women's tennis," as the "next wave, at long last, feels imminent" (THERINGER.com, 9/8). In Toronto, Rosie DiManno notes the future of tennis could be a "long-lasting rivalry" between Andreescu and 21-year-old Naomi Osaka. Both offer "playful personalities and wry observations" (TORONTO STAR, 9/9).
HOT COMMODITY: The GLOBE & MAIL's Posadzki & Willis noted when Montreal-based vegan restaurant chain Copper Branch "signed a marketing deal" with Andreescu in March for a mere C$50,000 or so, its timing "could not have been better." Copper Branch -- which has more than 65 locations, most of them in Canada -- "first connected" with Andreescu through her agency, Octagon. The restaurant chain "wanted to partner with a Canadian athlete who could represent its health-focused brand," and Andreescu "fit the bill." The company "recorded an inspirational commercial" with Andreescu "devouring its Aztec bowl and is currently looking at other ways to make her image more prevalent in its restaurants." It is "not clear" what Andreescu is earning from her endorsements, which currently include BMW Canada and Nike. However, Univ. of Toronto's Rotman School of Management marketing professor David Soberman said that her portfolio is "expected to get bigger" following her U.S. Open win. Soberman added that contracts are "generally exclusive by category, so it's likely" that Andreescu "can't sign another restaurant, apparel company or automaker, but her rise to superstardom is likely to attract offers in other categories such as beverages or food products." As BMW's brand ambassador, Andreescu "appears on social-media channels and is expected to make in-person appearances for the automaker." She is currently driving a BMW X5 sport-utility vehicle as part of the endorsement deal, but BMW Group Canada Dir of Corporate Communications Marc Belcourt said that the automaker "expects it will soon be upgrading her ride." Meanwhile, Copper Branch is "keen to renew its one-year contract" with Andreescu "for the long term, but it may have to give her a big raise" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/7).
NEW CROWD FAVORITE: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jason Gay writes 23-year-old Russian Daniil Medvedev, who lost yesterday in the U.S. Open men's final to Rafael Nadal, was a "revelation" and may be the "shot of youthful energy that men’s tennis so badly needs." Along with Andreescu, it was an "entertainingly fresh final weekend for the sport." The "charismatic" Medvedev was a "scene-chewing sensation" in Queens. He spent the tournament’s first week "battling the New York audience with a comical fake-villain act." He then "won over the crowd, dazzling with his rangy, long-limbed game." He "played beautifully to reach the final," and yesterday, "all of tennis fell in love" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/9). In N.Y., David Waldstein notes Medvedev "came ever so close to barging his way into the champions club." His "pulsating effort" across five sets "transformed him, perhaps forever, from tournament villain to noble loser with a promising future." Fans at Arthur Ashe Stadium "chanted Medvedev’s name just a week after his brief villainous turn" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/9).