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Mississauga teen Bianca Andreescu captures Indian Wells tennis title

INDIAN WELLS, CALIF.—Canadian Bianca Andreescu has her first WTA title.

The unseeded 18-year-old from Mississauga upset eighth-seeded German Angelique Kerber 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the women’s final at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.
Bianca Andreescu reacts after match point to wrap up her first WTA Tour title Sunday at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.
Bianca Andreescu reacts after match point to wrap up her first WTA Tour title Sunday at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. (Mark J. Terrill / AP)

Andreescu has become a major story on the women’s circuit this year. With the victory Sunday, Andreescu has won 28 of 31 matches this season and becomes the first wild-card entry to capture this event.

Andreescu needed roughly 40 minutes to take the opening set. Neither player served well — Andreescu was 60 per cent on first serve, while Kerber was at 67 per cent — but the Canadian held serve throughout and won all of the points on her second serve, compared to just 55 per cent for Kerber.

The German also committed 14 unforced errors in the opening set.

The two remained on serve to start the second set, although Andreescu seriously threatened to get another break in the third game. But the German repeatedly held the surging Canadian off before going ahead 2-1.

And Kerber forced the Canadian to continue to work hard in the fourth game, registering a break on some Andreescu unforced errors for the 3-1 advantage. Then the German again held serve to win a third straight game for commanding 4-1 lead.

And after Kerber held serve to go ahead 5-2, Andreescu showed her frustration by repeatedly banging her racquet on the surface as she left the court. The two then held serve, with Kerber serving out the set 6-3.

Kerber played a much more aggressive game in the set as Andreescu had 19 unforced errors. And the German was 1-for-1 in break chances while the Canadian was 0-for-2.

The two again held serve to start the third set, but Andreescu required medical treatment on her right arm/shoulder after going ahead 2-1. However, Kerber took control of the set with a break to go ahead 3-2 when Andreescu put a shot into the net.

At the break, Andreescu told coach Sylvain Bruneau “My feet were burning” and that she was having trouble moving. Bruneau calmly encouraged his pupil to continue battling and competing.

Andreescu took the advice to heart. She broke Kerber to tie the match 3-3, held serve to surge ahead 4-3. then broke the German again for a commanding 5-3 advantage with the chance to serve for the title.

Andreescu had three championship points, but couldn’t pull the trigger. Kerber secured the break when Andreescu’s attempted drop shot went into the net to pull to within 5-4 as the Canadian received some treatment on her right leg at the break.

Again, Andreescu looked fine once play resumed, capping her impressive tournament run by converting the fourth championship point for the break and career first. And upon capturing the victory, she kissed the playing surface then acknowledged the crowd.




By The Canadian Press    3/17/2019


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