Andreescu reaches US Open semis with brilliant comeback win

Say it with us: Bianca Andreescu is a Grand Slam semi-finalist.

Playing in her first-ever US Open main draw and only her fourth Grand Slam main draw ever, the No. 15-ranked Canadian came back from a set down to overcome Elise Mertens of Belgium, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Andreescu couldn’t have gotten off to a better start, quickly generating two break points on Mertens’ opening service game. However, after failing the convert either, the Canadian’s energy levels – and accuracy on her hitherto pin-point groundstrokes – appeared to dip. Playing some of her best tennis of the week, Mertens dictated play off her flat forehand to throw off the 19-year-old, who for the first time in the fortnight began to look her age.

Yet, a signature of Andreescu’s precipitous rise to the top of women’s tennis has been her ability to fight and problem-solve her way out of difficult situations against all types of opponents. A flat baseliner like the Belgian No. 25 seed might not have been like any of the players 15th-seeded Andreescu had played in New York thus far, but the latter certainly wasn’t going down without trying to crack the Mertens code.

And such was the case in the second set, with the Mississauga native dialling into the form that has seen her win three titles, claim seven Top 10 wins and register the best win-loss percentage on tour. With an in both game-wise and mentally on Mertens’ suddenly crumbling game, Andreescu quickly levelled the match at a set apiece.

The Rogers Cup champion was quick to show off her repertoire of shots in the opening game of the third, hitting delicate drop shots and arrhythmic forehand slices to earn a quick hold, which she’d consolidate into major pressure on Mertens’ first service game. Unable to break in the game following multiple deuces, the Andreescu well would fail to run dry as she produced her best tennis to ultimately break in the eighth game – and it was the only break she’d need.

Minutes later, with one last backhand down-the-line winner, Bianca Andreescu was a US Open semi-finalist.

The Canadian’s all-court ambition yielded a total of 40 winners in the two-hour, two-minute clash, backed up by a brilliant 82% win rate in points played at the net and winning a total of 42% of return points played.

In Thursday night’s second semi-final (around 9:00pm ET), Andreescu will face fellow former Rogers Cup champion Belinda Bencic, a baseliner with brilliant court-sense akin to Swiss countrywoman Martina Hingis.

SOURCE: Tennis Canada

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