Photo: Martin Sidorjak
It was a vintage performance that propelled 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu into the third round of the final Grand Slam event of the season late on Wednesday night in Flushing Meadows, New York. The 22-year-old defeated an in-form Beatriz Haddad Maia, the no. 15 seed in the tournament and finalist at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers in Toronto, 6-2, 6-4 at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Andreescu played her best match of the year and was virtually flawless from the outset. She utilized her variety and an effective game plan to successfully diffuse Haddad Maia’s power, causing the Brazilian to commit some uncharacteristic unforced errors. Her backhand down the line was a weapon throughout the match and kept her opponent on the defensive.
After dominating the opening set, Andreescu got herself out of several jams with some strong serving in the second set when Haddad Maia raised her level while trying to force a final frame.
Andreescu’s tough draw doesn’t get any easier as she’ll now face no. 17 seed Caroline Garcia. The Frenchwoman was crowned champion in Cincinnati a few weeks ago.
Auger-Aliassime and Fernandez Ousted
Meanwhile, Félix Auger-Aliassime and Leylah Annie Fernandez were unable to join Andreescu and Rebecca Marino in round three.
Fast-rising Brit Jack Draper was too much for Auger-Aliassime in their second round match and posted a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory to secure his second Top 10 win of the North American summer hard court season after eliminating Stefanos Tsitsipas in Montreal.
For her part, Fernandez, the reigning U.S. Open finalist, was ousted 6-3, 7-6(3) by Luidmila Samsonova despite putting up a good fight against her hard-hitting opponent.
In better doubles news, Gabriela Dabrowski and her partner Giuliana Olmos, seeded fifth in the women’s draw, opened with a dominant 6-1, 6-2 triumph over the American team of Peyton Stearns and Ashlyn Kreuger.
On Thursday, Denis Shapovalov will attempt to make it three Canadians in the third round when he takes on Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena. You can watch the match on TSN and RDS.