The National Bank Open, formerly Rogers Cup

Andreescu becomes first Canadian woman to reach final in 50 years

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August 10, 2019
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Yesterday, Bianca Andreescu was the first Canadian woman in 50 years to reach the semi-finals at Rogers Cup presented by National Bank.

Today, she’s the first to reach the finals in five decades.

The Mississauga native accomplished this historic feat by upending American Sofia Kenin 6-4, 7-6 (5). It was her first straight sets victory of the tournament. Andreescu will now look to secure her second career WTA title, when she faces off against the three-time Rogers Cup champion Serena Williams in the final. The two will be meeting for the first time in their careers.

Kenin and Andreescu produced some exciting rallies right from the very beginning. The 19 year old Canadian hit one of the points of the set with a beautiful drop shot to hold for a 2-1 lead. Now leading 3-2, Andreescu smacked a running forehand winner to set up the first break point of the match. But Kenin wouldn’t make things easy for Andreescu. The 20 year old American managed to save not just one, but two break points to keep things level.

Kenin would then earn herself a double break point later in the set. But this time the 2019 Indian Wells champion returned the favour. Andreescu dug herself out of a 15-40 hole with a couple of forehand winners to help win a crucial service game. The World No. 27 would follow that up with the first break of the match thanks to a smash winner at the net – taking the first set 6-4.

But the young American wouldn’t go away without a fight. The World No. 29 went up a break early in the second set, after Bianca committed an unforced error. Kenin would however fail to consolidate the break. Then, in Andreescu’s next service game, the American missed another opportunity. This time she couldn’t convert a couple of break point chances – allowing the Canadian to hold at 3-2.

In the very next game, in attempt to save a break point, Kenin hit a backhand that clipped the top of the net and sailed wide – putting the Canadian in front 4-2. But, looking to serve out the match at 5-3, Andreescu dropped her first service game of the day – keeping Kenin’s hopes alive.

Then, with a chance to send the set to a tiebreaker, the American committed two double faults in a row to give the Canadian her first match point. Kenin would manage to stave off not one, not two, but three match points to finally force a tiebreak. Once there, with Andreescu leading 5-4, Kenin sent a forehand long to put Bianca back in the driver seat at 6-4. The Canadian would finally convert her fifth match point with a powerful backhand winner – sending the crowd at Sobeys Stadium into a frenzy.

Andreescu is the first Canadian to reach the Rogers Cup final since 1969 – when Canadians Faye Urban and Vicky Berner played in the final. The Canadian teen has had a year to remember. Not only has she won 26 of 30 matches this season, but her latest victory gives her 23 wins on hard courts – matching Karolina Pliskova for the most on the WTA Tour.