In-form and in-tune - meditation aids red-hot Andreescu
Bianca Andreescu is keeping her balance amid a whirlwind rise on the WTA tour, with the help of meditation.
The 18-year-old Canadian will play the biggest match of her career -- a semi-final in the WTA premier mandatory tournament in Indian Wells -- on Friday.
Her preparation will include her daily dose of meditation, a technique she has relied on for years.
"I do it all the time. Every day since I was 14, I have been doing it. So it’s become a habit for me," Andreescu said after crushing two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza 6-0, 6-1 in the quarter-finals at Indian Wells.
"It's nothing complicated. I wake up every morning. First thing I do is I meditate.
"I think it really helps me get a good jump-start to the day. Not opening my phone or anything, not getting too overwhelmed.
"It's just creative visualization. I take 15 minutes every morning just to get in tune with my body, my mind.
"Because I feel like a lot of people work on the physical part of things, but I think the mental part is the most important because it controls your whole body, right?"
Andreescu ended 2018 ranked 178th in the world. This year she's finished runner-up at Auckand and reached the semi-finals at Acapulco.
She arrived at Indian Wells ranked 60th in the world and will land in the top 40 by virtue of reaching the semis where she'll face sixth-ranked Ukrainian Elina Svitolina.
Andreescu is more than ready for the challenge.
"I think confidence is everything, and also experience, too. I just started playing these high-level events a year ago, and I think I’m gaining more and more experience after every match.
“Win or lose, I always learn something. This year all the wins have definitely given me confidence."
And Andreescu, the daughter of Romanian parents who was born in Canada but has spent time in both countries, is adjusting to the attention that comes with success.
"It's definitely a new experience," she said. "I have a good team around me that help me stay grounded."