Andreescu Battles Back From Match Point Down, Kvitova, Venus Williams Advance in Miami
(March 21, 2019) MIAMI – No. 24 Bianca Andreescu rallied from 6-4, 5-1 and was down a match point at 2-5 in the second, beat Irina Camelia Begu 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2 to move into the third round of the Miami Open on Thursday. Just a year ago the Canadian teenager was ranked No. 152 in the world. She’s fresh off of winning the Indian Wells title last weekend, her first WTA Tour crown.
The 18-year-old talked about her slow start in the match. “Well, it’s a new tournament, new atmosphere, new environment, different court. I guess that took a bit of getting used to.
“Maybe I needed to almost lose to wake up,” she said with a big smile. “That’s obviously what happened today. I’m really grateful how I managed.”
“She’s a great fighter,” Andreescu said of her opponent. “I started a bit slow in the first and second set, and then I called my coach. He obviously helped me, like he always does, and I fought as hard as I could. I’m really proud of myself with how I dealt with everything.”
Talking to media about her turnaround in the match: “I think confidence is a lot. If you have trust in your game and in your training, then a lot of good things can happen. I think at that moment that’s exactly what happened.
“I try to stay in the present moment. I try to play every point like it’s the first point of the match. I tried to stay as calm as I could, tried to pump myself up.
“In those moments, I try to go for my shots as much as possible, because I think that’s when I play my best tennis.”
Next up for the Canadian will be the US’ Sofia Kenin. This will be the third time in three tournaments the two have faced-off against each other. Kenin is the last person to beat Andreescu.
“Well, she gets to a lot of balls. She rarely misses. She fights really hard.
“I played her in Acapulco. I lost 7-5 in the third, so I know it’s not going to be an easy match, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Three-time Miami Open winner Venus Williams was not at 100% physically, but used her veteran experience to get past Dalila Jakupovic 7-5, 6-3. Jakupovic served for the first set at 5-4, but could not close it out.
“She really plays the angles well and definitely a real competitor,“ Williams said. Was just trying to get a feel for what her shot selection is like. That’s always really challenging as a new opponent.”
Williams will play No. 21 seed Carla Suarez Navarro for a spot in the third round.
“As an opponent, she’s crafty, feisty, and competitive,” said the unseeded Williams. “She plays maybe a little more topspin than others and then some slice. So it’s a little bit atypical game to adjust to as opposed to other players.”
No. 3-seeded Petra Kvitova opened her quest for the Miami title by beating Maria Sakkari 6-1, 6-4.
“I think I never play Maria before,” said the two-time Wimbledon champion. “Actually, we didn’t really practice, as well, so I didn’t really know what I should expect.
“Overall, I think Jiri told me something, but every time I play someone who you don’t know, it’s kind of different and you need some games to kind of find out what she’s playing and what she’s not.
“That’s I think that I did very well. Was facing two break points in my first service game. From that time I felt much better being on the serve. Kind of found out what she’s playing.
“I break her in the first serve, and I think that help me a lot to kind of, you know, calm down. You know, I had a bad match against Venus in Indian Wells, so it’s been long time to wait for another match. I have been practicing, but you really never know what’s coming in the match. I’m glad that I started pretty well, which helped me a lot today.
“In the second set, she tried more aggressively, I think. She really started to serve a little bit better. It was new balls, as well. She took my serve, and I was happy that I was taking the serve back straightaway, which helped me mentally, as well, not to struggle that much.
“Yeah, the second set I think was pretty nice from both of us.”
American and Junior major champion, qualifier Whitney Osuigwe, a 16-year-old won her first WTA Tour main draw match by beating Naomi Osaka’s older sister Mari Osaka, 6-2, 6-4.
Also earning her first WTA main draw win was 15-year-old Coco Gauff, ousting American country woman Catherine McNally 6-3, 6-4. Gauff, from Florida became the youngest woman since 2009 to win a WTA Tour main draw match at a tournament.
“I really tried to minimize the moment and just tried to think of it as practice,” said Gauff ” I know that may sound bad, but it kind of helped me. I just kind of put myself in a mindset that, you know, if I don’t stay positive and if I don’t go for my shots, then I’m going to lose. So I just went for it and it ended up helping me in the end.”
“I played her twice before this, and they were both in juniors. You know, this is a whole different thing for me, but I kind of, again, tried to minimize the moment.
“It kind of helped, obviously, because I knew her tendencies, but also I think it helps her, like, we both kind of had advantage because know each other’s games very well.
“I think that anyone could have won today, and I think the match just was really decided by two or three points.”