bianca andreescu hits forehand us open

Photo: camerawork usa

Bianca Andreescu is now 9-0 in the main draw of the US Open after a solid win in a back-and-forth match against American Lauren Davis.

Andreescu, who often uses all three sets to knock out her opponents, needed only two tonight – winning 6-4, 6-4 under the lights on Louis Armstrong Stadium.  

This was the first meeting between Andreescu and No. 98-ranked Davis. The 5-foot-2 American who relies on her quickness, aggressive shot selection, and retrieval skills on court would have needed a bit more of that tonight to have a chance at beating Andreescu, the 2019 US Open champion.

In the opening game, Davis looked quite effective, as she caught Andreescu on her heels during a couple of points and broke the powerful Canadian right out the gate.

Andreescu faced another break point in her following service game, but this time managed to fend it off. Andreescu broke back in the fourth and held to love on her serve in the fifth.

The Canadian’s momentum was short-lived however, as she had a sloppy seventh game, including a missed forehand on a Davis break point to give the break advantage back to the American.

Luckily for Andreescu, an untimely double fault from her opponent in the eighth evened out the score at four games apiece.

Following Davis’ blunder, Andreescu raised her level of play and was able to win the next two games and captured the first set.

However, just as it looked like Andreescu regained her rhythm, the second set started brutally for the Canadian.

She gifted Davis back an untimely double fault in the third game to go down a break. Then in the fifth game, Andreescu missed a swinging volley at deuce and double faulted to go down 2-3.

But once again, Andreescu was able to find her form late in the set and powered her way back with a break of serve of her own. The 2019 champion found a way to win all the points that mattered, including a break point in the 10th game, which also happened to be match point.  

Andreescu converted on all three of her break points in the second set and 6/8 overall. Although it wasn’t the cleanest of wins for the Canadian, she proved that she can turn it up when stakes are high.

Andreescu will now face Belgian Greet Minnen in the third round. Minnen was knocked out of the qualifiers by Canadian Rebecca Marino last Friday, but earned a spot in main draw as a lucky loser.

Shapovalov gets revenge in dominant win

Canada’s success on Louis Armstrong Stadium continued after Andreescu’s victory as Denis Shapovalov followed her onto the court and into the third round with a straight-sets victory of his own.

The seventh seed in men’s draw brought his flashy play to primetime and Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena was the victim as the Canadian advanced with a 7-6(7), 6-3, 6-0 win.

Shapovalov has reached the third round at all five of his appearances at the US Open.

Much of the match came down to the Canadian, who spent most of his time on offence, striking 50 winners while only committing 29 unforced errors. Carballes Baena only managed 13 winners and 14 unforced errors.

Shapovalov won 85 percent of his first serve points and an impressive 24 of 30 points at the net in match. He also limited his opponent to just two break chances, saving one.

With the win, Shapovalov also avenged his heart-breaking second-round loss at the hands of the Spaniard at the 2020 French Open.

After exchanging breaks of serve to start the match, the pair settled in and held comfortably for the remainder of the set, which required a tiebreak.

Throughout the opening set, it was Shapovalov dictating play and often deciding the outcome of points, either with a winner or an error.

That streaky play continued in the tiebreak as the Canadian double-faulted three times, but was able to save a pair of set points from 4-6 down and caught a break when Carballes Baena returned the favour, double-faulting at 8-7 to hand Shapovalov the opening set.

The comeback in the tiebreak seemed to stabilize Shapovalov, as he began hitting more consistently at a high level in the second set. He once again got the first break, but this time hung on to take a 4-1 lead and cruised through the rest of the set, which he took 6-3.

By the third set, Shapovalov was in full flow and looking unstoppable. The ball was exploding off his racket and he was in full command of the match, with every shot seemingly finding its mark.

He only needed 23 minutes to book his place in the third round, closing out the match on a seven-game run and taking the third set 6-0.  

Shapovalov will look to reach the fourth round at the US Open for the third time when he takes on South Africa’s Lloyd Harris. It will be another chance at revenge for the Canadian, who lost to Harris in the semi-finals of Dubai earlier this year.