LONDON, England -- Bianca Andreescu looked like she was in full control of her Wimbledon second-round match against No.26 seed Anhelina Kalinina, before finding herself teetering on the edge of defeat.
And then she essayed a final plot twist, roaring back from 5-2 down in the third set for a 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 win in 2 hours and 46 minutes.
Feel familiar? It did to Andreescu.
"It really brought back good memories from 2019," she said afterward. "I remember being down a lot in that year, coming back and fighting my way through. So I'm very pleased."
Andreescu's career took off in earnest that season. She started the year outside the Top 100 and ended it with titles at the US Open, Toronto and Indian Wells. Along the way, she solidified her M.O. as one of the game's great battlers, playing 23 three-set matches and winning 18 of them.
BIANCA. VANESSA. ANDREESCU. 😤@Bandreescu_ surges from 5-2 down in the deciding set to defeat Kalinina 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(7) and advance to Round 3 for the first time in her career!#Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/K4HMiA2AqI— wta (@WTA) July 7, 2023
The wild ride was Andreescu's hallmark back then, and there were plenty of twists and turns Friday as the Canadian pulled off another one to make the third round of Wimbledon for the first time.
"All the bad bounces," Andreescu said, recounting the most memorable aspects of the match. "All the let cords, the lucky let cords. They really, really pissed me off. That overhead I missed at 2-2, I think it was, to have an advantage.
"My first serve not working well. Some nice backhand down-the-line winners that I was hitting. Then looking at my box and everyone is completely red and having multiple heart attacks. So a few."
It's a fitting start to Andreescu's new role as Netflix's latest star. The crew of "Break Point" started following her at Wimbledon this week, and she's certainly delivered must-watch television. But the larger question is whether she can recapture the magic of 2019 again. Since then, momentum has been elusive, and her ranking is down to No.50.
There has been a litany of ill-timed injuries, but also tweaks to a playing style that had been characterized by the range of options Andreescu had at her disposal. But after going through multiple coaches, she's gone back to her roots. This year, she's been working with former childhood coach Christophe Lambert.
"He understands the tennis game in general and also my game," she said. "I feel that he gives me a lot of freedom as well to go based on my intuition, because that's when I play my best.
"He's very good at trusting me. That in turn forces me to continue to trust myself."
Playing on instinct is key for Andreescu, she feels -- but it's something she feels she moved away from in recent years, prioritizing first-strike tennis over using her variety.
"I definitely went through different waves," she said. "I feel like I always had that intuitive nature -- even if somebody said to do this, I kind of go against it and just follow my heart. But I do feel like last year I went away a little bit from that. I started to just hit the ball and not maybe slice as much, or drop shot, or basically just play intuitively.
"Working now with Christophe, he gives me that freedom. With Sylvain [Bruneau, her coach during 2019], when I worked with him, he did give me a lot of that freedom as well. I did well with that. I'm really hoping that going back to that will help me get better results."
Andreescu feels she could be building up a head of steam again -- which is fortuitous timing, as she will face another player who thrives on instinct and variety in the third round. No.6 seed Ons Jabeur, was Andreescu's practice partner ahead of Wimbledon and someone she admires on many levels.
"She has a lot of variety in her game," Andreescu said. "She's a fighter. She's been through a lot in her career. If I play her, she's not going to give it to me easy.
"I look up to her as well off the court. She speaks a lot about women's tennis and women's rights, which I appreciate very much."