Bianca Andreescu: Yet To Lose To A Top 10 Player And Ready To Dash Williams’ US Open Dream - UBITENNIS
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Bianca Andreescu: Yet To Lose To A Top 10 Player And Ready To Dash Williams’ US Open Dream

The giant-killing player has her eyes set on the ultimate prize in New York.

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Bianca Andreescu US Open 2019 (photo Twitter @USOpen)

It seems surreal that Bianca Andreescu has achieved history in only her fourth main draw appearance in a grand slam tournament.

 

Taking on Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic in the semi-finals of the US Open on Thursday, the 19-year-old battled to a 7-6(3), 7-5, win during what was a roller coaster encounter. After coming  through a tough opener, she recovered from a 1-4 deficit in the second set by breaking Bencic four consecutive times on route to the milestone victory. Becoming Canada’s first ever singles finalist at Flushing Meadows.

“It wasn’t easy at all. She hits the ball really hard and really flat I think every shot. My knees were to the ground. I think it wasn’t too fun playing her. But that’s what makes her such a great player.” Andreescu said of Bencic.
“I’m just really glad with how I managed that. I tried to change the rhythm as much as possible. That was the goal right from the beginning of the match.’
“But it wasn’t easy. When someone is hitting flat and deep, it’s hard to do that. But the main reason I won I think is because I just kept fighting. I never let up.”

The win is the latest stage of Andreescu’s meteoric rise in the world of women’s tennis. Prior to this season, she had never broken into the world’s top 100 or won a WTA title. Yet over the past nine months she has blossomed into one of the most notable players in the sport. It all started back in January where she reached the final of the ASB Classic in Auckland, which she lost to Julia Goerges. Gaining in belief and momentum, two months later she won her first trophy in Indian Wells before claiming the Rogers Cup trophy in August. Even more impressive was that between those two titles, she was sidelined from the tour for almost five months due to injury.

“I’ve always dreamt of this moment ever since I was a little kid. But I don’t think many people would have actually thought that it would become a reality.” She said of reaching her first grand slam final.
“I think for me, it all started in Auckland, then in Indian Wells. I just kept believing in myself. But I think that moment after the match, I was just in shock. At the same time I fought really hard to get to this point, so I really think I deserve to be in the finals on Saturday.”

One notable thing about the teenager is her confidence. She feels like she deserves and belong to play in a major final. Speaking candidly in her press conference she said she would have ‘believed’ somebody if they tipped her to reach a grand slam final leading into this year’s tournament.

Serena awaits

Andreescu has become somewhat of a big time player. She is yet to lose against a top 10 player after winning all seven of those meetings. More notable was six out of those seven victories took place on North American hard courts.

In order to claim the biggest title of her career, Andreescu needs to get past Serena William in the final. Somebody who won their maiden US Open title the year before she was even born. Their only previous meeting on the tour lasted just 19 minutes after Williams was forced to retire due to injury.

“I remember watching her when I was about 10. I don’t remember specifically a moment. I watched her win most of her Grand Slam titles.” She said of the former world No.1
“I think she’s fighting for her 24th on Saturday. I’m sure she’s going to bring her A game.’
“I’m going to try to bring my A game, too. Hopefully I guess may the best player win.”

Despite her rapid rise, Andreescu heads into the final as very much the underdog. Given the fact it is Williams’ home grand slam and that she has a wealth of experience. However, she refuses to accept anything less than victory. Providing a glimpse of the mentality that has helped her achieve so much success this season.

“I think it’s just inside of me somehow. I think it’s just my passion for the game, as well. I don’t like to lose, so I just try my best every match.” She explained.
“I expect a lot from myself, so I think that pressure also helps me do my best in matches.”

The women’s final will take place on Saturday.

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Anett Kontaveit Set To Battle For WTA Finals Spot After Lifting Moscow Crown

It is the third time Kontaveit has won a tournament within the past six months but will she be able to qualify for the season-ending championships?

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Anett Kontaveit (image via https://twitter.com/BNPPARIBASOPEN)

Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit has continued her recent surge in form on the Tour by fighting back from a set down to win her fourth career title at the Kremlin Cup on Sunday.

 

The world No.20 was on the verge of losing to home favourite Ekaterina Alexandrova before battling to a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, victory. At one stage in the match Kontaveit was trailing by a set and 0-4. Then in the decider she was broken at 4-4 before going on to win three games in a row to clinch the title. Overall, she won 69% of her first service points and broke her opponent five times.

“Of course, I am very happy, the match was extremely difficult, I feel relief and joy,” she said afterwards. “I got lucky at match-point, but during the match there were moments when she (Alexandrova) got lucky too. It always takes a little luck to win. She took the lead, controlled the match, it was very difficult for me, I tried to fight for all the points and this helped me to win.”

Kontaveit, who defeated former world No.1 Garbine Muguruza and Markéta Vondroušová earlier in the tournament, has now won 14 out of the last 15 matches she has played on the Tour. Her only loss was to Ons Jabeur in the quarter-finals at Indian Wells. She has played in five finals this year which is the second-highest on the WTA Tour after world No.1 Ash Barty who has played in six.

The 25-year-old is now on the verge of qualifying for the WTA Finals for the first time in her career. However, the prospect of her playing in the season-ending event depends on the results of next week’s tournaments. Kontaveit is playing in Romania and she needs to win the tournament and for rival Jabeur to lose before the semi-finals to qualify.

Meanwhile, runner-up Alexandrova exits Moscow frustrated with her missed opportunities in the match. It was the first time she has played in a final this season and only the third time in her career. Prior to Kontaveit, she scored back-to-back wins over Aryna Sabalenka and Maria Sakkari.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to win, I’m very sorry. But I will work on it and I hope next time I will be able to get a better result,” Alexandrova said during the trophy ceremony.
“I want to congratulate Anett, she played great, it was hard for me to do something.” She added.

Kontaveit, who has won three WTA titles since August, is the first Estonian player to win the Moscow trophy. Compatriot Kaia Kanepi reached the final of the tournament back in 2011.

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Simona Halep, Emma Raducanu Heads The Field in Cluj Napoca

On Saturday the draw was revealed for the 32 players playing in Cluj this week at the Transylvania Open.

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Simona Halep (image via https://twitter.com/Simona_Halep)

Despite the fact seven main draw players have pulled out, including Garbine Muguruza and Paula Badosa, the field is pretty deep with a lot of interesting matchups featuring no fewer than six Romanians. 

 

Let’s start at the top with the number one seed Simona Halep who will play her first match against the up-and-coming fellow Romanian Gabriela Elena Ruse. Halep and Ruse most recently teamed up in doubles and made it to the final in Indian Wells.

The number two seed is the Estonian Anett Kontaveit who will play for a title on Sunday in Moscow. She has drawn a qualifier in the first round. Emma Raducanu, the number three seed, will start her tournament against Polona Hercog.

The fourth seed is the Swiss Jil Teichmann who will also face a qualifier in her first-round match. Meanwhile Australia’s Alja Tomljanovic will face Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan who comes in as a late replacement for Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Marta Kostyuk from Ukraine is the number six seed and she will face the American Bernarda Pera. It will be the third meeting between the two players with the Ukrainian winning both of their previous matches.

Irina Camelia Begu from Romania and she will face another Romanian in Maria Irina Bara while the number eight seed is Anhelina Kalinna who faces a qualifier in the first round.

If the seeds hold up the tournament could potentially see quarterfinal matches featuring Halep vs Tomljanovic, Raducanu vs Kostyuk, Begu vs Teichmann and Kalinna vs Konteveitt.

There are indeed some dark horses in the draw that could cause some upsets. Look out for Maria Camelia Osorio who has been playing some amazing tennis this year and it seems to be her breakout year.

Andrea Petkovic is always a dangerous opponent and she actually won the first event in Romania, the Winners Open, back in the first week of August. Anastasia Potapova from Russia is no easy task, and many expect a good week from her.

Main draw action begins on Monday with what is expected to be a great week in Cluj-Napoca.

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Transylvania Open Suffers Major Blow As Seven Players Pull Out

A two-time Grand Slam Winner and the Reigning Indian Wells Champion are among those to withdraw from the tournament at the last minute.

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image via https://twitter.com/TransylvaniaOpn

The inaugural Transylvania Open will feature just one top 20 player in the draw after two pulled out of the competition on Saturday.

 

The Spanish duo of Garbine Muguruza and Paula Badosa were set to headline the new WTA 250 event in Cluj Napoca. Tournament organisers confirmed their withdrawal along with that of Ekaterina Alexandrova, Viktoria Golubic, Veronika Kudermetova, Kaia Kanepi, and Mayar Sherif. Furthermore, Mihaela Buzarnescu was also scheduled to play in the qualifying draw but pulled out.

Andreea Prisacariu and Anna-Lena Freidsam will take spots that were attributed to Muguruza and Badosa. The others will be replaced with Ana Bogdan, Alison Van Uytvanck, Ivana Jorovic, and Kaja Juvan.

Muguruza most recently played yesterday in VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow, reaching the quarterfinals where she was thoroughly beaten by the Estonian Anett Kontaveitt 6-1, 6-1.

Badosa is fresh off winning the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California while Alexandrova has officially reached the final in Moscow after Sakkari was forced to retire 4-1.

Kontaveit, who is scheduled to play this week in Romania, will face Alexandrova in that final on Sunday after beating the Czech Marketa Vondrousova in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.

Simona Halep is set to be the highest ranked player in the tournament. US Open champion Emma Raducanu is also participation in what will be only her second event since winning her maiden major title at the age of 18.

The main draw action begins on Monday.

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