Bianca Andreescu will have to wait a little longer before making her return to the winner’s circle, as she falls just shy of the title in Bad Homburg, Germany, to Caroline Garcia of France 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4.
Despite the loss, Andreescu had a terrific week in the small German town, about 16 kilometres north of Frankfurt. Playing in only her sixth tournament of the season – after taking a break to rest, train and focus on her mental health and injuries – the 22-year-old Canadian has looked razor-sharp, winning 11 of 17 matches since her return to the tour in April.
Andreescu claimed three of those wins this week, taking down Martina Trevisan of Italy (6-3, 6-1), Britain’s Katie Swan (6-4, 6-4), and tournament top-seed Daria Kasatkina (6-4, 6-1).
Today’s match was the first meeting between Andreescu and Garcia. While Andreescu had Friday off after the sudden withdrawal from her semi-final opponent Simona Halep, Garcia played for nearly three hours to earn her spot in the finals.
In spite of the time-on-court difference between Andreescu and Garcia, the Frenchwoman looked fresh out the gate, holding to love in her first service game and claiming the first break to take a 3-1 lead. However, Andreescu would strike right back in the fifth game, eventually sending the first set to a tiebreak. Both players were hitting the ball with such authority, but in the end, the Canadian was able to edge out her opponent to take the opener 7-6(5).
Midway through the second set, Garcia found herself down a break but managed to respond terrifically, winning four consecutive games to take it 6-4, tying the match at one set apiece. The neck-and-neck battle continued in the decider, where both players exchanged breaks in the early goings of the set.
Garcia then began to raise her level of play and broke the Canadian in the fifth game to take her first lead since the beginning of the first set. Andreescu did have two break point chances in the sixth game to get back within striking distance, however, Garcia turned both aside and rode that wave of momentum up until match point.
Garcia’s first title since 2019 featured 53 winners and 36 unforced errors compared to Andreescu’s 52 winners and 45 unforced errors. Six of Andreescu’s errors came on her serve, which may have been the difference-maker in today’s contest.
Andreescu has now reached six finals in her career and has a 3-3 record in those contests. Next up for the Ontarian is a first-round match against American qualifier Emina Bektas at the All England Club. Andreescu is still searching for her first main-draw win at Wimbledon and is in good shape of achieving that milestone this week, as she’s looking as good as ever on the traditional grass surface.