TORONTO, Canada - BNP Paribas Open champion Bianca Andreescu continued her comeback week at the Rogers Cup, rolling through the final four games of a three-set thriller against former World No.10 Daria Kasatkina to advance, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5.
"She likes to change the rhythm, and that's what I've been working on the most because I know players don't like that. We basically played each other at our own game today, and it wasn't easy," Andreescu said after the match.
"Definitely the crowd helped. They helped me push myself even more, just knowing that the crowd is behind you.
"At 5-3, I think I lost four games in a row....and I think I just took all that anger and just put it in my shots. That's why I think my shots were more effective."
Back on tour after dealing with a nagging shoulder injury, Andreescu was on the brink of defeat before roaring back to the delight of the Centre Court crowd to win after two hours and 39 minutes.
Andreescu was playing just her third tournament since capturing her maiden WTA title in Indian Wells, and her first match since Roland Garros when she took on countrywoman Eugenie Bouchard Tuesday night, winning in three sets.
"Yesterday wasn't an easy match, and I had a very short recovery time, but that's just how it is sometimes," the Canadian reflected.
"I tried my best to get as much treatment as I can and as much sleep. I prepared myself well before the match, but it did catch up to me, especially in the third set a little bit.
"I did work a lot on the physical aspect of things, but playing a match is a totally different thing. There's a lot more on the line and there's more emotions, which definitely contributes to soreness and fatigue."
— Rogers Cup (@rogerscup) August 7, 2019
Against Kasatkina, she appeared on song early as she drew first blood for a 3-1 lead. The Russian soon found her range, and shook off missing two set points in the tenth game to break serve once more and take the opening set on her third opportunity.
As she did against Bouchard, Andreescu was on fire in the second set, striking 13 winners to just four unforced errors to level the match and leave Kasatkina looking for answers.
Calling Carlos Martinez - longtime coach to two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova - to court, Kasatkina was encouraged to be more aggressive and the 22-year-old appeared to do just that, winning five straight games from another 3-1 deficit.
With her back against the wall, Andreescu won 12 of the next 16 points to flip the script and find herself a game from victory.
— WTA (@WTA) August 8, 2019
"In those moments, I just let loose, really. I know when I do that, I play my best tennis," the Canadian assessed.
"It's when I just stay relaxed and I go for my shots. That's what I did towards the end, and I think that's what helped me win today. I felt that she was holding back a lot, and I was just on top of everything."
Blasting the ball on match point, the Canadian drew one last error from Kasatkina to clinch her spot in the third round, where she'll next face No.5 seed and reigning Western & Southern Open champion Kiki Bertens.
"I have watched her many times. She's a very good player. I don't expect anything easy," Andreescu said.
"I'm just going to go out there, try to enjoy myself, and give it all."