Mississauga’s own Bianca Andreescu definitely didn’t make it easy on herself.
Having lost the opening set, the Canadian teen rallied from behind to take down Russian Daria Kasatkina in front of the home crowd – advancing thanks to a 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 victory. Setting up a blockbuster third-round matchup with World No. 5 Kiki Bertens.
Andreescu was the least consistent player of the two in the opening set. With Kasatkina trailing 4-3, the Russian managed to fight off two break points to hold serve. She’d follow that up with a break of her own to give herself a chance to serve out for the set. But the Canadian fought back. Andreescu saved two set points, one which was done thanks to a powerful forehand winner. She would then convert her second break point of the set to knot things up at 5-5.
However, Kasatkina would not be denied in this see-saw of a set. She managed to win eight of the next 10 points to get the break back and finally closed out the opener on her third set point.
The Canadian teen would find a little more rhythm in the second set. With the set tied at 1, she saved a couple break points and managed to hold serve thanks to a forehand winner. After a couple double faults cost Andreescu, now leading 3-2, she managed to regain the break by a placing a beautiful volley into the open court. From there, Andreescu would close out the set by winning four straight points.
In the third and decisive set, the Canadian was the first one to draw blood. In a game that held seven deuces, Andreescu finally managed to convert on her sixth break point to grab a 3-1 lead. Kasatkina didn’t let that that bring her down though. The 22-year-old Russian converted two break points over a stretch of four games to jump in front 5-3.
But with her back against the wall, the 19 year old from Mississauga responded in turn. After holding serve to get within one, she tied things up at 5 thanks to four straight return points. She would then take the lead on her next service game, before closing out the match with a break point – much to the delight of the Canadian fans in attendance.
Andreescu is now set to face Bertens for the first time in her professional career. Her latest victory also improves the Canadian’s match record to 23-4 in 2019. Prior to Wednesday, she advanced to the second round at Rogers Cup after defeating her compatriot Eugenie Bouchard 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 on Tuesday night.
Osaka in position to become World No. 1
It might not be long before Naomi Osaka is back on top as the World No. 1.
The Japanese star moved that much closer to regaining the top ranking, after Tatjana Maria retired from their second-round match due to a left abdominal injury. The two-time Grand Slam champion was playing for the first time since losing in the first round at Wimbledon to Yulia Putinseva.
With Ashleigh Barty’s surprising exit in the second round at Rogers Cup and by virtue of this match alone, the Australian will be displaced at the top of the world rankings. That is a certainty.
But there’s no guarantee that Osaka will be the one to take that title. A deep run by Karolina Pliskova could derail any efforts made by the 21 year old from Japan to regain the World No. 1.