Photo : Martin Sidorjak
After a thrilling comeback to start her 2023 season, Bianca Andreescu was on the wrong end of a reversal of fortune in her second-round clash at the Adelaide International as she was beaten by world No. 9 Veronika Kudermetova in straight sets.
The match was all about momentum swings as Andreescu opened the match on a four-game run, only for her opponent to win every remaining game in a 6-4, 6-0 defeat.
In the first round, Andreescu had won 11 of the last 13 games and a tiebreak from 0-6, 2-5 down to defeat Garbine Muguruza.
Despite putting 64 per cent of her first serves in play, Andreescu’s struggled winning just 35 per cent of those points. Overall, she faced 15 break points and was broken six times, winning just 42 per cent of her total service points.
Andreescu seemed to carry the momentum from her first-round win into the second-round battle, ripping a pair of huge backhands to secure the break in the opening game. She added a break to love in the third game as the Canadian raced out to a 4-0 lead.
From there, it was all Kudermetova.
The next three times Andreescu stepped up to the line to serve, she fell behind 15-40 and only saved one of the break points as she lost six straight games from 4-0 up to drop the first set.
At the start of the second, Andreescu had a chance to stop the world No. 9’s momentum when she held a break point in the opening game but sent a forehand down the line just wide. It was her last break point opportunity of the match.
That miss proved costly as just like the first set, the Canadian found herself playing catch up in her service games. In the second, she fell behind love-40 each time she served and despite fighting back to deuce in the fourth and sixth games, she was unable to find her way out of a service game, holding just one game point in the set only for Kudermetova to hit a forehand winner.
Andreescu was broken each time, including as she served to stay in the match at 0-5 despite saving the first three match points.
With the loss, Andreescu falls to 10-10 in her career against Top 10 opponents. She had two wins in 2022, with the most recent coming on home soil against Daria Kasatkina at the National Bank Open in Toronto last August.
Barring any last-minute changes to her schedule, Andreescu’s next event will be the Australian Open. She has reached the second round in both of her main-draw appearances in Melbourne, although she missed the 2022 event.