It was a night that the 19 year old from Mississauga will likely never forget.
Under the lights of Aviva Centre, playing against her compatriot Eugenie Bouchard, Bianca Andreescu earned her first career Rogers Cup presented by National Bank victory in three sets 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. It was also the Canadian teen’s first match since being forced to withdraw from the French Open with a shoulder injury.
For much of the first hour, it looked like it might actually be Bouchard’s night. Despite being winless on tour since February, the 25 year old from Montreal played with an edge in the opening set. In the match’s very first game, Bouchard raced to a 0-40 lead and converted a break point when Andreescu placed a volley into the net.
The Mississauga-native would get it back though. She leveled the set at 4-4, this time placing a perfect volley into the open court to consolidate the break. The back-and-forth didn’t stop there. Bouchard gained the upper hand in the very next game when Andreescu gave back a break of serve. She then did her best to rally, saving three set points. But finally, Bouchard managed to serve out the set when the 19 year old sent a forehand long.
But the Canadian teen turned things around in the second set, limiting the mistakes that plagued her early on. Leading 1-0 and having failed to convert two break point chances, the third time was the charm for Andreescu. A powerful backhand winner put her up a break. She would then add another during Bouchard’s next service game – winning four of five points. Andreescu would comfortably win the set, having committed 10 fewer unforced errors than she did in the opener.
The Missisauga native continued to dictate the pace in the third and final set. She scored a break in the opening game, which was all part of a stretch that saw Andreescu win six games in a row. Bouchard did her best to keep up with her Canadian counterpart. Trailing 3-2, the Montrealer converted a break point when Andreescu committed a costly double fault. But luckily for the 19 year old, she would make it up in the very next game with a powerful cross-court winner to regain her advantage. Andreescu would then hold serve to seal the match.
Her latest win improves her match record to an impressive 22-4 this season (84.6 win percentage). Before Tuesday night’s Clash of Canadians, Andreescu and Bouchard had only ever met once professionally. Earlier this year in January, the World No. 27 defeated Genie en her way to winning the WTA 125K ITF title in Newport Beach.
This was also Andreescu’s second main draw appearance at Rogers Cup. Back in 2017 in Toronto, she lost in the opening round to Timea Babos 6-4, 6-1. Andreescu will next face Daria Kasatkina for the first time in her professional career. The 22 year old from Russia won her opener by upsetting Angelique Kerber 0-6, 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the second round.
Bouzkova caps off day with Stephens upset
Immediately after the Andreescu-Bouchard clash on Centre Court, Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova earned her first career Top 10 win by taking the No.7 seed Sloane Stephens 6-2, 7-5. The victory is without a doubt the biggest of in the Czech’s professional career. Prior to tonight’s match, the 21 year old lost all seven previous matches she’s played against players ranked inside the Top 50.
Bouzkova manage to converted five of 11 break points, while saving eight of 10 over the 102-minute match. Conversely, the World-No.8 Stephens seemed a bit out of sorts. The 2018 Rogers Cup finalist racked up 48 unforced errors to just 29 winners in the loss.
Next up for Bouzkova, she’ll play the winner between Jelena Ostapenko and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.