bianca andreescu sliding forehand

Photo: Martin Sidorjak

It’s been a solid week of tennis in the Spanish capital for Bianca Andreescu, who made her Mutua Madrid Open debut this past Friday. She defeated Alison Riske in her opening match and then soared past Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins 6-1, 6-1 in the second round.

Today, playing in her third consecutive match against an American opponent, Andreescu fell to world No. 14 Jessica Pegula by a score of 7-5, 6-1. Their head-to-head is now even at 1-1 – Andreescu taking the first contest 0-6, 6-4, 6-2 in 2019 at the Oracle Challenger Series in Newport Beach, California.

Despite the loss, Andreescu, who is currently ranked 111th in the WTA rankings, will be making her return inside the Top 100 on Monday.

In the opening set, Pegula almost got off to a perfect start, winning seven of the first eight points and eventually having six looks at breaking Andreescu’s serve in the second game. But, the tenacious Canadian fended off all break point opportunities and fed off that momentum to break Pegula in the following game.

This kicked off a flurry of chances for both players in the opening frame. In the fourth game, the American managed to break back, then Andreescu and Pegula exchanged breaks in the seventh and tenth games to level the set at 5-5.

After a Pegula hold, Andreescu served in the 12th game to keep the set alive. Unfortunately, a shaky game by the Canadian gave Pegula five set point chances, and the world No. 14 eventually clinched the set on her fifth opportunity.

Andreescu saved a remarkable 14/17 break points in the first set, while her American opponent turned aside 2/4.

Photo: Martin Sidorjak

Fittingly, the second set started with a lengthy game full of break point opportunities – this time in favour of Andreescu. The Canadian converted on her sixth opportunity, but her lead was short lived. Pegula regained her rhythm and won the next six games, clinching her spot in the final eight.

The difference-maker in the match was Pegula’s ability to return Andreescu’s first serves. Andreescu only won 51 per cent of first-serve points, compared to 75 per cent for the American.

Pegula will face world No. 47 Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain in the quarter-finals.

Wins in doubles for the Canadians

Prior to Andreescu’s round-of-16 match, Canadians went 2-0 on the doubles side of the draw.

Gabriela Dabrowski, who is seeded No. 2 alongside Mexican partner Giuliana Olmos, cruised past Tereza Mihalikova and Ulrikke Eikeri, punching their ticket to the semi-finals.

On Court 5, Felix Auger-Aliassime and teammate Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria ousted Argentinian duo Diego Schwartzman and Maximo Gonzalez in the opening round by a score of 6-3, 7-6(8).

Later today, Denis Shapovalov will face Andy Murray of Great Britain for a spot in the the third round of singles.