For the first time in 50 years, there will be a Canadian woman in the semi-finals at Rogers Cup presented by National Bank.
Bianca Andreescu punched her ticket to the semis with a three-set victory over World No. 3 Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 2-6, 6-4. The Mississauga-native becomes the first woman from Canada to reach the Rogers Cup semi-finals since 1969. Andreescu will now face-off against another young rising star, 20-year-old Sofia Kenin, in the final four.
The Canadian was unbelievably good in the first set. On her second break point of the opening game, Andreescu tested Pliskova with a couple of slices that seemed to fool the World No. 3. She sent one of them into the net, giving Bianca an early break.
The Canadian teen didn’t stop there. She converted three of her nine break point opportunities in the set, while winning 12 of 15 service points. No doubt Pliskova’s performance early on was a far cry from the player we’ve come to know. The World No. 3 made four double faults in a set that lasted just 23 minutes. Something that you rarely see from one of the best servers on tour.
But, in the second set, Pliskova bounced back in a big way. She seemed to finally catch her stride. The 27 year old converted two break points and won 13 of 16 service points en route to winning the first five games of the second set. That was far better than the 67% of service points that Pliskova won in the opening set. To make matters worse for Andreescu, she would take a medical timeout with the score sitting at 5-2. She’d come back and fail to hold serve to stay in the set.
In the third and decisive set, with the Canadian still struggling to play through a right leg ailment, the crowd did their best to cheer on the hometown favourite. In Andreescu’s first service game of the set, she managed to save three break points before holding serve. That would prove to be a huge turning point for the 19 year old. With the set tied at 4-4, Pliskova sent a two-hand forehand long that put Bianca up a break late. The Canadian teen would then close out the match with four straight points to secure her first-ever semi-final appearance at Rogers Cup.
Andreescu will now prepare for a showdown with Kenin in Saturday’s semi-finals. The World No. 27 has met the American on three occasions in her career – having won two of three meetings. The most recent took place at the Miami Open in March, which Bianca won in straight sets.
Andreescu will undoubtedly be the favourite when she takes the stage at Aviva Centre on Saturday afternoon. With her latest upset win over Pliskova, the Canadian is now a perfect 6-0 against the Top 10 over her career, all of which have taken place in 2019. Her match record this season is also stupendous, she’s won 25 of her 29 matches over the course of the year.