Bianca Andreescu on Monday night progressed her first Grand Slam quarterfinal with a three-set win over Taylor Townsend at the US Open.
Andreescu ended the American’s fairytale run with a 6-1 4-6 6-2 victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The win setting up a last-eight date with Belgian Elise Mertens, who extinguished another American Cinderella story with a thumping 6-1 6-1 win over wildcard Kristie Ahn.
The 2019 #USOpen is the first Grand Slam where all 8 quarter-finalists in the women’s singles are seeds since the 2014 Australian Open.
At least one unseeded player reached the last 8 in the previous 22 Grand Slams.
— Matt Roberts (@Roberts96Matt) September 3, 2019
The other quarterfinal in the top half of the draw will pit No.13 seed Belinda Bencic — who beat defending champion Naomi Osaka for the third time in 2019 — against 23rd seed Donna Vekic, a three-set winner over Julia Goerges.
Seeded 15th, Andreescu is, incredibly, playing at the US Open for the first time. She becomes the first Canadian to reach the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows since Patricia Hy-Boulais in 1992.
This time last year, the teenager was ranked outside the world’s top 200.
“It’s not like anywhere else … hopefully this is the first of many more,” Andreescu said of her US Open debut.
“It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure. I don’t normally play people like this (with Townsend’s style). But I made sure to work on my passing shots yesterday during practice, and I think it worked in the first and third sets. But she picked it up in the second set, which was expected.
“I’m glad I kept my cool in the end.”
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) September 3, 2019
Indeed, Townsend’s throwback serve-and-volley style had sparked plenty of discussion, especially when the left-hander — a former world No.1 junior — rushed the net more that 100 times in her stunning second-round win over Wimbledon champion Simona Halep.
When Townsend beat Sorana Cirstea in the third round she had built a six-match winning streak after coming through three rounds of qualifying.
In four of those six wins, she dropped the first set before recovering to win in three.
But her net-rushing tactics were no where near as effective on Monday night against the Canadian, who consistently beat Townsend with stellar returning.
Townsend only managed to win 16-of-40 points at the net for a 40 per cent success rate, compared with Andreescu’s superior rate of 17/26 (65%).
Andreescu, this year’s Indian Wells and Toronto champion, made a point of being the aggressor and dictating points. Townsend frequently found herself forced well behind the baseline and stretched wide in defence — positions she is neither accustomed to or comfortable with.
By the third set, Townsend was barely coming to the net at all.
Andreescu was full of praise for Townsend, who is projected to rise from outside the top 100 to world No.82 next week.
“She had an incredible run … I got to talk to her a little bit, two days ago actually, and she’s an incredible person and she has a different game than many other people, so I’m sure she’s gonna get far,” Andreescu said.
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