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There is a comforting sameness to all tennis backstories – a child given a racquet when they’ve just started grade school; discovery by some important decision maker; investiture into an academy; professional coaching; early wins; being slapped with a ‘next big thing’ label.

Thousands of kids can tell this same story. A few dozen get to tell the one after.

Most never manage the breakthrough that pushes them up the senior rankings and eases their path through major tournaments. In tennis, losing begets losing.

You see these fringe players schlepping their own gear around Grand Slams, looking harried and ill-at-ease. One win is all they need. One win to justify their time, effort and, most important, their expenses. You almost find yourself feeling sorry for them.

Since they are set up as an amuse-bouche to feed the best in the world before things get serious, one win is almost impossible. Their tournament ends on Day 1. Then they do it again, often for years, until they give up and take their money off the table.

But one unlikely victory can change their storyline. Tennis is unique that way. You’re one of those interchangeable nobodies on a Wednesday. By Friday, people know your name.

Eighteen-year-old Canadian Bianca Andreescu is having one of those weeks. On Thursday, she upset Australian Open defending champion Caroline Wozniacki at the ASB Classic in New Zealand.

Canada’s reaction? “Oh my God, that’s so good for Bianca Remindmehowiknowthatnameagain?”

At that point, Andreescu remains a backstory rather than a three-dimensional person. She was born in Mississauga, returned to her parents’ home of Romania and picked up the game there.

The family returned to this country. Andreescu became a big enough deal that Tennis Canada provided her with elite coaching (including former Wimbledon finalist Nathalie Tauziat, who helped groom Eugenie Bouchard). They also allowed the teenager to train at home rather than at their Montreal hub.

Andreescu was not one of the great herd of hopefuls. She was already on her own island.

She was a very good, if not quite prodigious, junior player. Injuries have been a recurring problem.

She qualified for her first main draw at a senior tournament last summer at Wimbledon. Not a bad start. A month later she won her first senior match at the Citi Open. She then beat Kristina Mladenovic, a top-20 player. She had just turned the age of majority.

You probably don’t remember any of that. It was only a few days before the start of the Rogers Cup and most of Canada was coming down with Denis Shapovalov fever.

The name “Mladenovic” does not exactly ring out – and certainly not the way “Nadal” did when Shapovalov beat the Spaniard the year before, launching his own national celebrity with just one victory.

“Wozniacki” was more like it. She’s a former world No. 1 who’s won things that matter.

Then on Friday, Andreescu added a Williams. Had it been the other Williams, they’d already be naming streets after her back home. But a teenage nobody beating Venus Williams still has the capacity to catch people’s attention.

The manner in which Andreescu did it – going down a set; then utterly dominating her veteran opponent through the second and early into the third – got people talking. It ended 6-7, 6-1, 6-3.

At one point, Andreescu won 11 straight games. She didn’t just defeat one of the best to play the sport. For a good long stretch, she humiliated her.

In her 24 years as a pro, Williams had only once lost to a player ranked lower than 150th in the world. Andreescu, No. 152, is the second.

Once it ended, Williams had the stunned look of someone re-evaluating her career choices. Andreescu seemed to consider collapsing to her knees before thinking better of it. Instead, she spent a moment sobbing into her hands.

“I think that anything is possible and tonight I think I did the impossible,” Andreescu said in a postmatch interview. Later, she called the win “my awakening moment, maybe.”

Say this for the kid – she does not lack for confidence.

One big win can set you up in tennis. Two big ones in the span of 48 hours might do truly incredible things like, say, get you a watch sponsorship. And not one of those cheap, step-counting watches. Something Swiss.

Andreescu’s wins represented something that is exceedingly rare in pro sports these days – getting to watch a small moment make a huge impact in someone’s life. Andreescu’s arrived now, and so won’t ever feel quite that way again. It was the moment innocence became experience.

If it’s a watershed for the young Canadian, there is the danger of treating it as one for women’s tennis. Before the country goes piling in on Andreescu like she’s the Second Coming, it’s important to put the ASB Classic in perspective.

It is a tune-up tournament for the Australian Open, but not the tuneup. That would be the Sydney International beginning in a couple of days.

As such, the ASB Classic attracts the second tier of women’s talent – the sort who need a little more practice than everyone else, a confidence booster or to earn a (relatively, very) few bucks. Maybe all three.

Wozniacki was the only top-10 player participating. So let’s not get ourselves too excited. Canada has done this before, notably with Bouchard, and it did not end well.

If tennis has an unusual ability to push people up in a huge hurry, it can also drag them back with just as much force.

I remember in particular the example of Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic at the 2014 U.S. Open. Krunic was a tiny, little person of no reputation, but possessing a huge personality, on and off the court. Like Andreescu, she had to qualify for that tournament. Like Andreescu, she took down some big names – Madison Keys and Petra Kvitova. Like Andreescu, she was pushed up as one to watch for the future. In a single week, she doubled her career earnings.

After losing her fourth-round match, Krunic said her greatest regret was that she’d heard U.S. taxes would eat a third of her prize cheque. Then she laughed morosely. You could feel the whole room falling in love with this charming stranger.

And that was it. Nearly five years on, Krunic, now 25, has never managed to duplicate those magical days at Flushing Meadows. She’s made a decent living from the sport, and will be forgotten the moment she retires.

So, tennis – fickle.

This is the point at which it gets hard – when you haven’t yet made it, but have enough of a name that people are suddenly gunning for you.

Shapovalov dealt with this, largely unsuccessfully, for most of last season. Bouchard has been battling it since her one big year in 2014, almost entirely disastrously.

Now Andreescu will know the pressure of being a somebody.

She faces journeywoman Hsieh Su-wei in the ASB Classic semi-final. Given Andreescu’s level at the moment, that’s doable.

Regardless of the result, there will a mad media scramble going into the Australian Open, which begins two Mondays from now.

Andreescu will have to qualify to get into that major. If she manages it, this country and the hipster section of the tennis cognoscenti will perk up.

If she wins a match, it is now news.

If she beats someone important, she is on the verge of becoming a bonafide star.

Of course, Andreescu still has the whole of her career spread out ahead of her. She has years to figure this out. It doesn’t have to happen right this moment.

And, like she says, anything is possible.

The difference after these few life-changing days is that people now expect it to be probable.

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