Ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky has hailed Bianca Andreescu as "one of the hardest working athletes" he has ever seen in a glowing tribute to his fellow Canadian.

The NHL icon, along with former NBA superstar Steve Nash, joined co-host Vasek Pospisil this week for a Canada-themed episode of Tennis United, which aired on WTA and ATP digital platforms on Friday. 

In the three-way interview, Gretzky recalls attending the 2019 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells when Andreescu stormed to her breakthrough title success - before subsequently beating Serena Williams in the final of the US Open. 

"I remember watching her first match [at Indian Wells] and thinking that's one of the hardest working athletes I've ever seen in my life," said Gretzky.

"She went on to win the tournament and then, at the US Open, to play in front of all those fans and everyone cheering the American girl - and one of the greatest athletes of all time - was pretty special. My hat goes off to her for how she handled herself and how she handled the pressure."

Both Gretzky and Nash reveal themselves to be true tennis fans over the course of the 20-minute discussion with ATP star Pospisil. The segment focused on Andreescu comes around halfway through the video (above).  

Gretzky added: "The thing that impressed me most about her - and I've said this to a lot of people - is not how good she is or how hard she works but how she handles herself with the media. She handled herself with such poise, she was so humble, so appreciative.

"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."

2019 Indian Wells highlights: Andreescu conquers Kerber to win first title