Photo: Martin Sidorjak

Andreescu, who has had a solid grass-court season heading into Wimbledon, is now 5-3 on the surface in 2022 after falling short in her second-round match to world No. 23 Elena Rybakina 6-4, 7-6(5) on Thursday.

Despite her valiant effort in the round-of-64 nail-biter, Andreescu will have to wait a little longer before making her deep run at the All England Club. The Canadian, who was playing in her first second-round match at the grass-court Grand Slam, generated impressive drop shots throughout the match and looked laser-focused right out the gate. Unfortunately, her inconsistencies in the service department would be her downfall against the tenacious Rybakina.

In the opening set, the servers were able to hold quite easily, up until the 10th game, where Andreescu was broken to love, losing the first set 6-4.

While Andreescu didn’t get a look at break in the opening frame, she managed to get three in the second set. And it definitely isn’t the easiest task to return Rybakina’s serves, as the 6-foot Kazakh currently leads the number of aces delivered on the women’s side of the draw with 16 in her last two matches.

The Canadian did manage to convert on two of those chances, however, so did her opponent, which led the second set to a tiebreak. After Andreescu lost two points on serve in the tiebreak, Rybakina would clinch the match on her second match-point opportunity.

In the third round, Rybakina will face Qinwen Zheng of China, ranked No. 52 in the world, this would be their first meeting on the professional circuit.

In spite of the loss, Andreescu battled to the very end. She had 21 winners in the contest and 18 unforced errors compared to Rybakina’s 23 winners and 21 unforced errors. Tennis really is a game of inches, and the match could have gone either way. The good news is that Andreescu looks like she is well prepared for the North American hard-court season.