Bianca Andreescu is... losing matches? Canada's newest sporting superstar went down to her quasi-mentor Simona Halep in her first-ever WTA Finals appearance on October 28, making it back-to-back defeats after the teenager's loss to Naomi Osaka at the China Open. And eagle-eyed fans think they know exactly why Andreescu's form has turned slightly in recent weeks.
Well, being serious, the reason is probably a combination of physical and mental exhaustion after an unexpected breakout season, plus the fact she's faced two tough opponents in her last two matches this month.
To be quite honest, Andreescu is probably burnt out and we're pretty surprised she's still performing to such a high-level. Andreescu took Halep, a former world number one and the reigning Wimbledon women's champion, to the full three sets on Monday.
But, of course, that reasoning is steeped in far too much logic for the superstitious sports fan. Writing as a superstitious sports fan, this author can confirm.
It's far more likely that Andreescu lost on Monday because she failed to respect the sporting gods and all their weird, unspoken requirements.
And some of Andreescu's fans reckon her form has slipped because she's stopped wearing her elastic spiral hair tie on her arm.
Andreescu herself actually addressed her habit of wearing the accessory back in March, telling tennis.com: "I have never worn these hair ties before, but during preseason I bought a couple, and I was just wearing it around my wrist. And then I was noticing that when I was hitting forehands it kept flying off, so I just put it up there, and it looked decent, so I just kept it."
With the hair accessory on her arm, Andreescu stormed to a ridiculous breakthrough season, including her US Open win over Serena Williams.
She was without it, however, when she lost to Osaka at the start of October, and there have even been debates as to whether the "hair tie curse" is real.
Well, it was missing again in the defeat to Halep, and fans couldn't help but notice.
Maybe it’s time for Bianca Andreescu to bring back the good luck hair elastic? In all seriousness though, I thoug… https://t.co/A0KuP5A1uF— Mike McIntyre (@Mike McIntyre)1572278219.0
@TennisCanada Has Bianca @Bandreescu_ #SheTheNorth won any matches since she stopped wearing her lucky hair band on her arm?— Domenic Calabrese (@Domenic Calabrese)1572283232.0
@McIntyreTennis @WTAFinals Bianca’s first two sets and fight were amazing and then kind ran out of gas. Very little… https://t.co/YMb3446Pyy— Leon Thomas Braun (@Leon Thomas Braun)1572278884.0
@LoliLondon @WTA @Simona_Halep @WTAFinals Did Andreescu play without the hair tie around her arm again?? sure looked like it— rick marsonet (@rick marsonet)1572283416.0
Where is the black arm elastic?! @Bandreescu_ https://t.co/m8oHSGHTnT— Deborah Belcourt (@Deborah Belcourt)1572276003.0
oO what happened to @Bandreescu_ elastic on her elbow?! it's gone! #WTAFinals— Crystal Lam (@Crystal Lam)1572266968.0
@Andreescu_Fans @Bandreescu_ Interesting, Bianca had her Canadian flag racquet dampener here, but didn’t use it for… https://t.co/mueKTmbZ2M— Leon Thomas Braun (@Leon Thomas Braun)1572277831.0
So there you have it. Without a bit of spirally plastic around her elbow, Andreescu's nothing.
We kid, of course. Even in defeat on Monday, she was wowing spectators, no more so than when she won an against-serve point with a 'tweener from near the baseline.
Andreescu, who was struggling with injury for portions of the defeat to Halep, is next slated to be in action on Wednesday, October 30, against Karolina Pliskova.