NEW YORK, NY, USA - No.15 seed Bianca Andreescu charged into the fourth round at the US Open in commanding style, taking down No.19 seed Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4 to continue the best Grand Slam run of her career.
“I felt really good. I started off the match pretty well, and then the second set, as well. I was up 3-0 but then as expected she found a way and she changed a couple of things,” Andreescu assessed in her post-match press conference.
“I felt like I relaxed a little bit [in the second set]. But then I put things together, and then I managed to pull through in the end.”
A year ago, Canadian teenager Andreescu fell in the first round of US Open qualifying - now, she’s making a head-turning main draw debut after a string of electrifying 2019 results catapulted her well into the WTA’s Top 20.
The 19-year-old lit up the courts at Indian Wells with a run to her maiden tour-level title, backing up a final in Auckland. She took down the likes of Angelique Kerber, Elina Svitolina and Garbine Muguruza before lifting the Premier Mandatory trophy - but suffered an injury setback as a shoulder injury kept her out of the tour for two months after the French Open. When she returned to action, it was as if she’d never left, becoming the first Canadian player in the Open Era to win the title in Toronto.
Up against two-time finalist Wozniacki, Andreescu was eager to extend her impressive record against the WTA’s best: she is 7-0 versus Top 10 players in her career - all of those wins achieved in 2019. Coming into the match, she already owned a win over Wozniacki, winning in straight sets in their only previous encounter in Auckland.
Yet to drop a set at Flushing Meadows, Andreescu built on her momentum to race ahead to an early break against Wozniacki on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Wozniacki fought back to level at 1-1, but found herself under pressure again as Andreescu brought out her signature mix of variety and firepower. She created two break points at 2-3, before finally breaking through to lead 4-3, holding on to her slim advantage to close out the set.
Andreescu held her nerve in the second set as the Australian Open champion rallied back, raising her level to erase Andreescu’s double break, 3-0 lead and leveling the score at 3-3.
They traded breaks once more to make it 4-4, before Andreescu edged ahead once again with a monster forehand winner to take a 5-4 lead. A smash winner capped off a final break to love to send Andreescu through to the second week of the US Open for the first time.
“I was, like, Oh, my God, is this actually happening right now?” Andreescu said of playing on Arthur Ashe Stadium for the first time. “It's a dream come true, so I prepared myself really well. I handled my emotions well today.”
Up next, Andreescu will take on American qualifier Taylor Townsend in the fourth round as both players seek their first career Grand Slam quarterfinal. Interestingly, it will be the first time the pair meet in singles, but the second time they’ll face off this tournament after Townsend teamed up with Whitney Osuigwe to defeat Andreescu and Sharon Fichman in doubles, 6-2, 6-3 earlier in the week.
“I'm going to go into it like I do every other match,” Andreescu said. “Going to prepare like I always prepare. I played doubles against her actually yesterday. I kind of know what to expect.
“I know she loves coming to the net. She has incredible volleys. I'll for sure work on some passing shots tomorrow during my practice,” she added with a grin.