MIAMI, FL, USA - The old saying goes, 'Sequels are never as good as the original,' but clearly, Bianca Andreescu and Angelique Kerber are the exception to the rule.
Just six days after they faced off in a classic final at the BNP Paribas Open, the pair met again as Saturday night turned into Sunday morning at the Miami Open - and again, it was Andreescu who came out a victor.
In a match that began well after 11 p.m., and did not conclude until just after 1:30 a.m., the Canandian teenager rebounded after losing a 6-4, 4-1 lead and defeated the three-time Grand Slam champion in three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, to reach the round of 16.
"It waasn't easy today. Kerber player a really great match but I think I took the momentum from the final into this match," Andreescu said on-court after the match.
"I expected a lot of good things from her but I think I was one step ahead today."
— WTA (@WTA) March 24, 2019
Andreescu lost five straight games as she seemed primed to win the match in two sets, but did not face a break point in the decider to take the long way to extended her winning streak to 10 straight matches.
She joins Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic as the only players on tour to have recorded double-digit victory streaks so far this season.
"I know I was up 4-1 in the second set, but I tried to leave that past me, and I took my chances in the third," Andreescu added.
"Nothing was really going on in my head, but I was just super tired. I jsut tried to save as much energy as possible but I left it all out there today. I felt that she wasn't playing her best tennis, so I kind of just fed off of that."
The new World No.24 rallied from a break down in the opener as Kerber led 2-0 early, and seemed to be well on course for a straight sets victory as she won four of the first five games in the second set.
However, the German would not go quietly, forcing a decider after falling behind by a set just as she did in the California desert, but couldn't solve the Canadian puzzle in the third.
— WTA (@WTA) March 24, 2019
Looking to extend her run of victories to 11 straight matches up next, Andreescu will get a much-needed off day on Sunday before she faces No.21 seed Anett Kontaveit for a spot in the last eight.
The Estonian No.1 came through a dramtic late night clash of her own against Ajla Tomljanovic, needing nearly two-and-a-half hours and a third-set tiebreak to reach the fourth round in Miami for the first time.
"I think she's feeling pretty confident in her game right now," the Canadian assessed. "I watched her matches this week. She's a very aggressive player, she has a really good serve. She fights really hard.
"I'm definitely not expecting an easy match, but I'm looking forward to it. I think right now, I'm just really confident in my game and I can do really well in this tournament because of that."