Bianca Andreescu’s long break from tennis served her well

“After Indian Wells, I decided, like, I don’t want to play anymore,” he said. “I don’t know if I was acting dramatically, but that’s just how I felt at the time. But now, I’m just super happy I didn’t stop, because having that free time has really made me appreciate my time on the pitch more now, because it was a decision that came from me. It wasn’t anything external like injury or disease or anything. It was my calling, so I felt very empowered, and this was a huge step to take more control over my life and just not put pressure on myself and have fun.

“During that hiatus, I basically did everything I love to do and told myself that if I come back, I want to be in the same mindset. Obviously, I want to be competitive and angry if I lose, for example, but I also want to feel that I have fun on the pitch and that I am more motivated after a loss instead of crawling into my bed and crying all night, which I was doing last year.

Andreescu, like his fellow tennis star Noemi Osaka and some other prominent athletes of their generation, was open about the mental health challenges they face. Three tournaments from his latest comeback, Andreescu is clearly in a better position and will head to the French Open with clay-court momentum that suits his varied play.

She came to the interview on Friday with no body tape or ice packs in tow.

“Nothing,” he said. “I’m just super thankful especially for my body, because it was a big deal. But I see myself as a great player on clay if I keep doing well, working hard in training and believing in myself ”.

The challenge on tour – a 10-month test of stamina and resilience – is to maintain health and enthusiasm.