Photo : Mauricio Paiz
The mere fact of Bianca Andreescu’s presence in Madrid was a win after a scary-looking injury in Miami last month. But the scoresheet still shows a loss after the Canadian was defeated by China’s Wang Xiyu in three sets at the Madrid Open.
She became the second Canadian woman to bow out on Friday after Eugenie Bouchard also lost her second-round match earlier in the day.
Andreescu picked up where she left off prior to the injury by racing out to a set and a break lead. But as the match went along, she began to wear down against Wang’s powerful hitting and ultimately could not get over the finish line in a 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 defeat in just under three hours.
There was no need to ease back in for Andreescu, who painted the line with a backhand return winner to break for an early 2-1 lead. She had to battle to consolidate in the following game but hung on to make it 3-1.
Everything seemed to be clicking for the Canadian as she kept Wang off balance with her crafty tennis, mixing in powerful shots from the baseline with clever angles and drop shots. Andreescu’s reward was an error-filled game from the Chinese as she served to stay in the set, allowing the Canadian to take it with another break.
Even the tennis gods seemed to be on Andreescu’s side as a return that hit the net cord just barely trickled over for a winner and a break in the second game of the set.
However, her luck began to run out soon after. Once again the Canadian had a tough time consolidating the break and while she held serve to make it a 3-0 lead, she double-faulted the break back next time she stepped up to the line.
Andreescu found herself playing catch-up for most of the tiebreak as a forehand long gave Wang an early minibreak. The Canadian never recovered as a few too many errors, combined with some brilliant hitting from the Chinese, sent the match to a deciding set.
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The momentum carried into the final set as Wang continued to apply pressure to the Andreescu serve. The Canadian saved three break points in the third game before Wang finally cracked a forehand winner on her second break point two games later to move ahead 4-2.
It seemed the Chinese woman had no shortage of energy while Andreescu did not quite have enough left to mount a comeback and she was broken to surrender the match.
Bouchard’s run ends
Eugenie Bouchard’s return to the Madrid Open came to an end of Friday as she was beaten in the second round by 2022 Roland-Garros semifinalist Martina Trevisan in straight sets.
Having come through qualifying, Bouchard already had three wins under her belt in Madrid but up against her highest-ranked opponent yet, the Canadian found herself playing from behind all day and was never able to get the edge as she fell 6-2, 7-5.
Similarly to Rebecca Marino’s match on Thursday, great returning by the opponent was a problem for the Canadian. Despite putting 74 per cent of her first serves in play, Bouchard won just 47 per cent of her own service points and really struggled when she missed her first, winning just five points on her second serve. The Montrealer converted all three of her break point chances, but faced 10 break points on her own serve and just saved four.
One-sided starts have been a theme for the Canadian singles matches so far in Madrid and Bouchard’s second-round match was no different, as she was broken in her first two service games to immediately fall behind 0-4.
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Bouchard woke up and started to mount a comeback, breaking back for 2-4 and holding three game points to get within a game on her own serve, but Trevisan stopped the bid in its tracks by breaking again which set the Italian up to serve out the set.
Trevisan again broke to start the second set but this time the Canadian refused to let her rush out to an early lead, using a big return to immediately break back.
Midway through the set the Italian again moved ahead by a break when Bouchard sent a backhand wide, but the Canadian redeemed herself by once again breaking in the following game, this time with a backhand winner.
When Trevisan broke for a third time in the set to put herself in position to serve out the match at 6-5, Bouchard was no longer able to hang on as the Italian finished off the win with a gritty hold.
With Andreescu and Bouchard’s losses, there are no Canadian women left in the singles draw in Madrid.
Bring on the doubles
The Canadian doubles campaigns began on Friday with Gabriela Dabrowski surviving a scare in her first-round match.
She and Luisa Stefani, seeded sixth in Madrid, had to rally from a set down to defeat Magda Linette and Sofia Kenin in a third-set super tiebreak 4-6, 6-2, [10-7].
Like Bouchard, the Canadian/Brazilian team were broken in their first service game, which was enough to drop the opening set.
They turned the tables in the second set, breaking twice to send the match to a super tiebreak. The breaker was tense and was level at 7-all before Dabrowski and Stefani ran away with it, winning the last three points to avoid the upset.
While Dabrowski was trying to avoid an upset, an all-Canadian pair caused a minor one when they took down the veteran Colombian pair of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in straight sets.
Team “Shauger” needed a pair of tiebreaks to advance to the second round of the Masters 1000 event with a 7-6(5), 7-6(2) victory. There were no breaks of serve in the match, although the Canadians had a much easier time holding in the match as they never faced a break point, while creating ten opportunities on their opponents’ serve.
The Canadian pair reached the quarter-finals of Indian Wells in March and will look to do it again when they take on sixth seeds Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara.