The sun was just setting in Tennis Paradise when Bianca Andreescu stepped out onto Stadium 5 for her second round match against Dominika Cibulkova at the BNP Paribas Open. Her opponent, although generally well known on tour, was unfamiliar to the young Canadian, who had never faced the Slovak.
The two players were coming into Indian Wells having experienced very different starts to the season. Andreescu holds an impressive record of 21-3 in WTA tournaments since January while Cibulkova has just one win on the tour since the start of 2019.
In the opening set, the Canadian’s service games were inconsistent, as she fired some wicked first serves but also committed 4 double faults. The setting sun was a cause of inconvenience for both players, as the shade moved its way across the court throughout the set.
After a crucial double fault by Cibulkova, Andreescu capitalized on her opportunity to get the initial break in the match. She was opportunistic at the end of the first, playing solid tennis during the big points. She would get another break to give herself the chance to serve for the opener. Some clever shot making gave the Canadian youngster the lead in the match.
Imperious level from Bianca Andreescu!
The Canadian phenom blows past former World No. 4 Dominika Cibulkova in the first set, winning it 6-2.
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) March 9, 2019
Although her opponent is known for her aggressive style of play, the young Canadian held her own during the course of the match, pushing the former world no. 4 around the court. The two exchanged many rallies with their heavy baseline hitting, but Andreescu was the smarter player in her shot selection.
Andreescu jumped out to a quick lead in the second. When it came time to serve for the match, the Canadian got a bit tight, committing a number of errors.
In the end, Andreescu simply outshot, outsmarted and overpowered Cibulkova for much of the match. The Ontario native did not let her opponent’s experience and list of accomplishments intimidate her, as she battled her way to victory by a score of 6-2, 6-2.
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 8, 2019
The 18-year-old’s third round opponent could have been the no. 4 seed Sloane Stephens, but the American was upset earlier in the day by qualifier Stefanie Vogele of Switzerland.
In a somewhat surprising situation, Milos Raonic was in doubles action on Friday. The Canadian is rather unaccustomed to playing doubles, having actually played in only one doubles match in 2018. Playing alongside Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, the pair fell to the eccentric team of Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini by a score of 7-6(5), 6-1.
(Feature photo: Michael Cummo/BNP Paribas Open)