Photo : Martin Sidorjak
Bianca Andreescu struggled to find an answer for the speedy defence of American Coco Gauff on Thursday in the second round of the San Diego Open. The Canadian faced relentless pressure on her serve and was broken five times in a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of the 18-year-old American.
Despite early leads in each set, Andreescu was unable to hold off Gauff, who created break points in more than half of her return games in the three-set victory.
Overall, Andreescu had to face 14 break points in the match and only saved nine. She won just 55 percent of her total service points. Gauff limited Andreescu to just eight break points, saving four.
Andreescu came racing out of the gate, breaking Gauff in the opening game of the match. However, the Canadian struggled on her own serve throughout the first set, being pushed to deuce in each of her first three service games and losing at least four points in a service game four of the five times she stepped up to the line.
Gauff scored the break to level the set at 2-2. She had a chance to pull ahead with a pair of break points in the seventh game but could not convert. Two more chances appeared for the American as Andreescu served to stay in the set at 4-5 and Gauff converted the second to take the first set.
The second set started out following the exact same script. Andreescu broke Gauff in the opening game, only for the young American to immediately start applying pressure on return and breaking in the fourth game for 2-2.
Things changed at the business end of the set, where it was Andreescu’s turn to score a late break to take a 5-4 lead. With the set on the line, the Canadian played her best service game of the day, going up 40-love for just the second time in the match and converting her second set point to send the match to a decider.
History nearly repeated again in the third set as Andreescu broke to start the third only to find herself down a break point at 1-2. However, Gauff mishit a forehand and for the first time in three attempts, the Canadian held for a 3-1 lead.
Gauff was not going anywhere and broke to level the set at 3-all. The American now firmly had the momentum in her favour as she broke again for a 5-3 lead and then served the match out to love to cap off a five-game run.
There are no Canadians left in the singles draw in San Diego after Leylah Annie Fernandez was defeated in the first round by Daria Kasatkina. Gabriela Dabrowski is the lone Canadian still competing at the event, having advanced to the doubles quarter-finals earlier on Thursday.