From a Canadian icon to a next-generation superstar. Bianca Andreescu got major praise from Wayne Gretzky. He even called her a "hero" for young kids in Canada.
During that discussion on May 22, the NHL legend had nothing but love for Andreescu and her rise to tennis fame.
He said she is "one of the hardest working athletes" he has ever seen.
"I don't think we could have a better hero in our country for young kids. She's truly remarkable and deserves all the credit she's getting," Gretzky said.
He saw Andreescu play at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
She won that tournament and it kickstarted her stardom.
When Gretzky watched her first match in the tournament, he recalled thinking, "that's one of the hardest working athletes I've ever seen in my life."
He also praised her for defeating Serena Williams, who he called one of the greatest athletes of all time, at the U.S. Open.
With everyone cheering for Williams during that game, Gretzky said Andreescu's winning was special.
"That's the winning ingredient." @NHL and @NBA legends @WayneGretzky and @SteveNash praise @Bandreescu_ . Full… https://t.co/feLY1szGa2— wta (@wta)1590161619.0
"My hat goes off to her for how she handled herself and how she handled the pressure," he said about the U.S. Open game.
During his chat with Nash and Pospisil, Gretzky also noted that what impresses him most about Andreescu isn't how good she is or how hard she works.
It's how she handles herself with poise, is humble and appreciative.
🏒x 🎾 was a pleasure meeting you🙏🏽 https://t.co/mb4niI6nYd— Bianca (@Bianca)1576876488.0
Gretzky and Andreescu have actually met before at the end of 2019.
She called meeting him a "pleasure."
Andreescu is set to get back in action soon.
She's slated to take part in a tournament in June, the largest one since the season was stopped because of the COVID-19 pandemic.