What was Tuesday night at the National Tennis Center in Toronto? A page had been turned or a new chapter had been written.
In the morning, Serena Her Williams, after her U.S. Open which begins later this month, in a very modern way, her first-person essay for a fashion magazine. announced his intention to retire. It was an announcement that thundered the tennis world, adding a frisson of excitement to Williams' Wednesday night match at the National Bank Open in what could be her farewell performance in Canada. 29}
In the evening, Bianca Andreescu resumed activities in Toronto. It was the first time she played in her hometown since winning her heated 2019 her season as a teenager. Her win was against one Serena Williams, who retired with her back ailment while trailing in the first set.A few weeks later, the Canadian won Williams again in the final of the US Open. beat the It was a thrilling victory as she fended off a late comeback attempt as New York crowds roared and roared their support for the American legend. , the story hung in the air like moisture. One of the greatest athletes in all of sports, she was nearing the end of her amazing career. She had been denied her 24th Grand Slam title by someone 20 years her junior who had first claimed such a title. Despite all of Serena's astonishing willpower, she could no longer count on blowing her young rival off the court, as she won her 23rd Grand Slam tournament in 2017, giving Andreescu a win. The loss marked her fourth Grand Slam final loss. The mountain seemed to be getting steeper and steeper.
Meanwhile, Andreescu had the upper hand and was destined for the top of the sport within months.
Much has happened since then. Injuries, layoffs, the decision to step away from the sport so she can find her competitive flame again. But with Williams announcing her pending retirement, the juxtaposition with Andreescu is inevitable, just as Andreescu is back to where she scored one of her biggest wins. The Canadian's greatest achievement foil is finally leaving the sport. Will she resume her WTA ranking climb this week?
At least she got off to a great start, beating the 11th seed of the tournament, Daria Kasatkina (7-6, 6-4). Andreescu fought through a game where her holds were infrequent and required medical attention, but her two-year winning streak in Toronto remains intact.
Casatkina, who won her fifth WTA title in San Jose last weekend, went all out to Andreescu in the first set at Soby's stadium. The 25-year-old Russian played under the banner of neutrality here for the attack on Ukraine and served her first before Andreescu scored her five points in a row for a short break. Scored her three points in the first of her game. However, neither player was able to hold serve in her first five games.
The 22-year-old Canadian served and appeared to take her 4-2 lead on her holds, but center Andreescu screamed several times on her court. rice field. Level the set at 5-5.
Andreescu took control of her again before seeking medical attention. She looked like she was battling nausea. Courtside staff also took her blood pressure. Despite this, and eventually falling behind her 2-4 in the first set tiebreak, Andreescu fought back despite her stopping and taking an impromptu break. and took the set. At set point, she set up Kasakina with a big, deep forehand and finished with a power volley at the net.
It was an old Bianca Flash. Mixing up a variety of shots and throwing opponents off balance in an aggressive game, Scored a good amount of Bigger points furiously. But it was also a flash of old Bianca, who battled health issues and seemed to be struggling to stay on the court. Andreescu was one of her top players in the game, as her body would allow, but such stretches were relatively rare.
By the time Tuesday's first-round match was past her two hours, Kasatkina had won her third straight game, making her 0-2 in the second set. got out of the hall. It seems she was away from her.
Again her Andreescu repulsed. She sets a break point with a nasty slice volley and misses Kasatkina with a forehand bomb. Four games later, the set and match were hers. It was a performance that contained a little bit of everything from excellent shot-making to enthusiastic shouts to moments when the Canadian seemed to be in danger. Adding to the background, Andreescu was finally back in front of a crowd desperate to see her again, and it was high drama. In a subsequent on-court interview, he apologized to the Toronto crowd for making frequent stops. "I never felt that way," she said, adding that she didn't know it was the nerves and emotions coming back, and that she might have eaten too much.
But she said she tried to stay positive and feed the crowd, trying to "get back to that 2019 energy."
Good energy brought by Bianca Andreescu.
With Andreescu on her side of the draw, she has no chance of meeting legendary Serena in the finals here. But the day the sports star announced he was retiring, a newer star stepped up again.
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