Photo: Michael Storms
In arguably her toughest test since her return from injury, Bianca Andreescu bypassed Spain’s Garbine Muguruza to reach the quarter-finals of the Miami Open. The Canadian was once again forced to come from behind in her 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over the tournament’s 12th seed.
The only previous meeting between the two players will be remembered fondly by fans who followed Andreescu’s breakthrough 2019 season. A scintillating performance from the Canadian saw her sweep aside Muguruza 6-0, 6-1 in the quarter-finals of Indian Wells en route to her first-career WTA title.
Heading into their second meeting, Andreescu had beaten Tereza Martincová of the Czech Republic and 28th-seed Amanda Anisimova of the United States to reach the Round of 16 in Miami. Muguruza, meanwhile, overcame China’s Xinyu Wang and Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya.
And it was the 27-year-old who made the first move in this match. Andreescu was unable to defend the second break point she faced at *3-4 as an impressive return by Muguruza forced the Canadian to send her next shot long. From there, the Spaniard – serving for the set – didn’t put a foot wrong as she won the next game to love.
Andreescu’s first serve percentage – at just 53% in the first set – was hampering her and, whilst it improved, Muguruza’s fine play continued to pose the primary problem. Things were looking bleak for Andreescu down 15:40 early in the second set, but she battled back to win the game and swung momentum in her favour with a cracking forehand which kissed the baseline on break point to go 3-1 up.
Muguruza did break back, but Andreescu was clearly in the ascendency and made it count with another break, giving her the opportunity to serve for the set. She did just that, ensuring the match went to a third and final set.
Three unforced errors by Muguruza handed Andreescu a trio of break point opportunities in the first game of the decider at 0:40. The Canadian was unable to covert them as the Spaniard battled back to deuce, but she did take the fourth which came a matter of minutes later – firing a cross-court forehand winner out of her opponent’s reach.
The highlight of the match undoubtedly came in the third game of the third set when Andreescu sent a forehand chip shot down the line to conclude a well-contested point. The Canadian’s body angle meant she was unable to see that her winner had landed in play, which delighted her no end when she eventually realized it had.
Another break meant Andreescu was 3-0 up and in full control of proceedings. Her steely determination and intensity didn’t let up despite her clear advantage and she was able to see out the set and the match comfortably.
The Canadian will now face Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo in the next round after she beat 27th-seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia 6-4, 0-6, 6-1 in the corresponding Round of 16 match on Court 1.
Doubles delight for Dabrowski, who sails into quarter-finals
Meanwhile, earlier in the day on Court 3, Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski and partner Giuliana Olmos cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles draw with a convincing straight-sets victory over Anna-Lena Friedsam and Storm Sanders.
Dabrowski and Olmos had a firm handle on the match from its outset. Their dominance came to fruition when they won the first set’s final three games to seal it 6-2. The second set didn’t start according to plan as the Canadian and her partner dropped serve.
However, they battled back and sealed the win with two further breaks. Dabrowski and Olmos will now face Coco Gauff and Caty McNally of the United States in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.