July 11, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

After a solid win, Bianca Andreescu goes for the Rogers Cup main draw

MONTREAL – Bianca Andreescu has played just three tournaments at the pro level, none so far this year.

And after missing the first half of the season (from the junior Australian Open to just before Wimbledon) with a stress fracture in her foot, she didn’t come into her second career Rogers Cup qualifying with much match play.

In fact, six matches on grass against juniors probably wouldn’t qualify as great preparation.

So it’s all the more impressive that she put up a solid performance in dispatching American Samantha Crawford 7-6 (3) 7-5 to move on to the second and final round of qualifying.  And that, despite eight double faults.

Here’s what the end of it looked like:

Andreescu’s pro experience so far has been limited to three events in the second half of last year.

She made her pro debut at a $25,000 ITF event in Gatineau, Quebec (that will be going on next week), and got all the way to the final without dropping a set before losing to top seed Alexa Glatch. She lost 7-5, 6-0 to the experienced Olga Govortsova last year at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, and exited in the first round of a $50,000 tournament in Toronto last October. That’s it.

Crawford, a 21-year-old currently around her best-ever ranking at No. 101, is a hard hitter who can be really on, on a given day. She fractured her wrist in on-court  fall at Charleston last April, in a match she ended up winning against the un-retired Swiss Patty Schnyder. Since then, she has played only at the French Open and at Wimbledon.

Andreescu will try to make the Rogers Cup main draw today,as she faces veteran Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine – again on the Banque Nationale Court.

Andreescu was the only one among the 11 Canadians in action in Montreal to win, the only one who took a set.

In Toronto, only Philip Bester among the eight Canadians got through to the final round; he was helped by having the No. 1 seed in qualifying, Yuichi Sugita, was moved up to the main draw. He faced an alternate, Canadian Kelsey Stevenson.

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