WASHINGTON – It appeared, after a hard-won first set, that Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu hit the wall in her WTA Tour main draw debut week.
It’s been numbingly hot. She has twice played on a court measured as the fastest on the entire circuit. All of her opponents have been older, more highly ranked, and a lot more experienced.
Did we mention it’s been really hot? Like, “feet walking on hot coals” hot?
The 17-year-old said it wasn’t so much her legs running out of fuel as it was her opponent, 29-year-old Andrea Petkovic, raising her level a notch.
Petkovic’s 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-2 win puts her into the Citi Open semifinals against countrywoman Julia Goerges.
Andreescu now will head home to Toronto for another debutante performance – her first main draw at her home-country Rogers Cup.
Here’s what it looked like, on a humid night in D.C.
Andreescu’s ranking will jump about 24 spots, to a new career best of No. 143.
She’ll arrive home riding a wave of confidence for her first-round match against Timea Babos of Hungary.
She upset one of the hardest-hitting players on Tour, Camila Giorgi, on the fastest court on tour. Then, she made history by becoming the first player born in the 21st century to defeat a top-20 player, No. 2 seed Kristina Mladenovic.
She also won a match in doubles with Louisa Chirico of the U.S. And she got cranked in the head by one of her partner’s serves.
The Canadian received a wild card into the Rogers Cup main draw when Maria Sharapova withdrew. Otherwise, she’d have had to hustle home to play her first round of qualifying Saturday (or, at worse, potentially play two matches on Sunday) to try to get into the main draw.
So everything worked out well. Except the tournament laundry service, which shrunk some of her new Nike dresses and gave her a more, um, streamlined look on court for a couple of the matches.
Andreescu only brought six dresses with her. Luckily, she has plenty more at home.
It’s always key to feel good in your dress when you’re at your second debutante ball in a week.
Here’s what she said about it, just a few minutes after the match.
It’s always more fun to talk to the press after a win. But every player in the draw except one loses every week.
Talking after you’ve taken a tough loss is part of the gig, but it can’t be much fun. Andreescu handled this one with aplomb.