A tennis star is born - glory for Romania?
18-year-old Bianca Andreescu beat the much more experienced German player Angelique Keber in the finals of the Indian Wells Masters tennis tournament on Monday. The world of tennis has a new star and Romanian media are trying to claim some of the glory since although Andreescu is a Canadian citizen, her parents are Romanian. Commentators are at odds about whether this is justified.
This is not a Romanian victory
Romania does not deserve credit for Andreescu's success, ziare.com rails:
“Andreescu was able to grow and progress, to win key junior competitions and now senior tournaments with decisive support from Canada. Without the Canadians she would have had virtually no prospects whatsoever. ... Tennis is an extremely expensive sport, and Romania does nothing to support young people who harbour such ambitions. The few players who do succeed have themselves and their families to thank. Claiming Bianca as our own and bragging about her success is the ultimate show of hypocrisy on the part of a nation that only has idols once they're standing on the podium.”
Of course Bianca is one of us
Gazeta Sporturilor examines the origins of the young athlete and comes to the following conclusion:
“Andreescu is not a player of Romanian descent. That would be the case if she had a tenuous connection to the country, for example a Galician grandfather born in Botoşani . ... But Bianca is simply a Canadian-born Romanian. Her Romanian parents brought her to Romania when she was still a little girl, where she learned to play tennis before they left together to live abroad again. There she received the final touches as an individual and a player. She is a Canadian citizen, her papers and her feelings are in order. Andreescu doesn't deny her roots - in Indian Wells she addressed simple and spontaneous words to the spectators waving the tricolour.”