Gandy Student Tops in Tennis

Posted On Wednesday November 03, 2021

This year’s US Open Women's Singles match was exhilarating for many tennis fans in Canada. 

19-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez delighted the crowds and country as she defeated three top-5 players, including the defending champion, to finish as the runner-up. It was an exciting tournament for many, including 12-year-old Pickering student Andrea Taylor.

Andrea can see herself following in Fernandez’s footsteps, striving to become the best tennis player in the world.

“In 2018 Tennis Canada was noticing her development and invited her to participate on the interprovincial team against Quebec,” says Stephanie Taylor, Andrea’s mother.

“She fully wants to be number one in the world. She has the makings, she has the desire, she has the physique to be a tennis player, she has the mental stability and trains hard everyday for it,” says Taylor.

Andrea is ranked fifth in Canada and third in the province. She recently won the Canadian nationals’ competition in the Under 12 doubles category.  She has been thriving and recently secured a sponsor.

“We are fortunate that we have such a great school in Gandy (Gandatsetiagon PS) that they understand she has to be leaving school early to attend practices,” says Taylor.  “As she misses class she still has to be disciplined.  She has homework after she gets home, and she is still going to have to get it done.”

At school, Andrea’s homeroom Teacher Ms. Culumovic enjoys the impact she has on the class in-spite of her busy schedule.

“She can be counted on by both her teachers and peers to help out and do the right thing when no one's watching,” says Culumovic. “Despite her busy practice schedule, she manages to keep up with her schoolwork, and does so with a growth mindset and a positive attitude.”

From Andrea’s standpoint the reaction to her success has been fun to see from both fellow students and staff.

“It’s been a nice reaction so far.  They like the way I am pursuing my dream of what I want to do and how I am doing well so far,” states Andrea.

However, for Andrea, playing tennis wasn’t always a family activity.  “Neither my mom or dad play tennis, but my grandma played.  My parents thought that tennis was a cool sport.  They wanted to see how I would fare, and I started getting really good, really fast.”

“I would like to continue to be successful. I would like to see how I am going to do in the under 14 and under 16 categories all around the province and going international.  I would like to continue having the success I am having now and get to that international stage where I am playing the best in the world,” says Andrea.

We look forward to hearing more about Andrea’s success in the future as she pursues her passion to one day be the top player in the world.