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EntertainmentRosie DiManno: Andreescu plays through U.S. Open drama in hostile territory

03:30  04 september  2019
03:30  04 september  2019 Source:   thestar.com

Rosie DiManno: Bianca Andreescu looks in the mirror and finds a way to beat her clone at Rogers Cup

Rosie DiManno: Bianca Andreescu looks in the mirror and finds a way to beat her clone at Rogers Cup Rosie DiManno: Bianca Andreescu looks in the mirror and finds a way to beat her clone at Rogers Cup

Mississauga’ s Bianca Andreescu , who faces Elise Mertens in the Open quarterfinals on Wednesday, is as new to The U . S . Open is the un-Wimbledon Grand Slam, raucous and rollicking, more like a Fed Cup atmosphere. Rosie DiManno is a columnist based in Toronto covering sports and current affairs.

RELATED STORIES. Opinion | Rosie DiManno : Andreescu plays through U . S . Open drama in hostile territory . Just the third Canadian woman in U . S . Open tournament history to make the final four — Carling Bassett in 1984, Lois Moyes in 1909.

Rosie DiManno: Andreescu plays through U.S. Open drama in hostile territory© DEMETRIUS FREEMAN Canadian Bianca Andreescu runs down a return in a fourth-round win at the U.S. Open in which the crowd cheered her misses, including eight double faults.

If you can take it there, you can take it anywhere …

New York, New York.

As Frank Sinatra sorta sang.

But man, they can eat you up and spit you out — New Yorkers.

Bianca Andreescu, who’s basked in nothing but love since bursting on the scene in her rookie year on the big girl tennis circuit — well, except for former No. 1 Angelique Kerber, who called the Mississauga teenager a “drama queen” during their net handshake at the Miami Open — discovered how hostile a crowd can be.

Rosie DiManno: Serena Williams had been hoping to face Bianca Andreescu. Game on

Rosie DiManno: Serena Williams had been hoping to face Bianca Andreescu. Game on Serena Williams won her first title on the women’s tour on Feb. 28, 1999. More than two decades ago. 

Bianca Andreescu , of Canada, plays against Taylor Townsend, of the United States, during the fourth round of the U . S . Open tennis tournament in New York. The clash between two versatile, all-court players who have so delightfully pushed the boundaries of the women’ s game during this final Grand

Andreescu will face Clijsters’ s countrywoman Elise Mertens in the U . S . Open women’ s singles quarter-finals If there were rumblings about Andreescu ’ s prospects coming into the U . S . Open after she came back But this is new territory for her. She has very little experience in Grand Slams, never

Nowhere more so than Flushing Meadows, where tennis etiquette — the typical hush, the murmur of appreciation or chagrin — is ditched for brassier displays of sentiment. The U.S. Open is the un-Wimbledon Grand Slam, raucous and rollicking, more like a Fed Cup atmosphere. It can be intimidating for those not blessed to be born in America when playing against an American.

The 19-year-old was not the publicly favoured player in her mano-a-mano match with Chicago-born Taylor Townsend, who’d surged all the way from qualifiers to the round of 16.

So the worm turned quickly out at Queens. Understandably, a homer audience was pulling for their compatriot, particularly after Andreescu crushed Townsend in the opening set, 6-1. That’s not why the Canadian lost the second frame 4-6 — Townsend adjusted, relied less on her throwback serve-and-volley style, which Andreescu had blunted effectively with drop shots, passing shots, lobs, charging the net herself, selectively, and largely denying her opponent the opportunity to chip and charge on her (Andreescu’s) weaker second serve.

Andreescu through to second round of US Open with 6-2, 6-4 win over Volynets

Andreescu through to second round of US Open with 6-2, 6-4 win over Volynets NEW YORK — Bianca Andreescu is through to the second round of the U.S. Open after posting a 6-2, 6-4 win over Katie Volynets on Tuesday. Playing in her first match since winning the Rogers Cup last month in Toronto, the 15th seed from Mississauga, Ont., broke Volynets four times on eight opportunities on won 81 per cent of first serve points. Andreescu didn't make it easy for herself at times wit 32 unforced errors, but Volynets, a 17-year-old American qualifier, managed to convert just one of her five break point chances. Andreescu will face the winner of a match between Kirsten Flipkens and Xiyu Wang. It was a busy day for Canadians in men's competition, with No.

Opinion | Rosie DiManno : Advantage Andreescu after battle of wills to reach Rogers Cup I had zero expectations coming into this tournament. Just with all that I’ve been through , the last Andreescu certainly appeared to be in command, breaking Kenin in the 10th game to grab the opening set

Bianca Andreescu — weary after her fourth three-set marathon and taped up tightly with a painful groin injury Pliskova whipped a clutch of aces, but Andreescu matched power for power as the players stayed on serve Rosie DiManno is a columnist based in Toronto covering sports and current affairs.

It was aggressive all-court tennis, hugely entertaining, and spectators doubled down when their underdog evened the match. This was, after all, a cliché Cinderella story, Townsend — ranked 116th in the world — having earlier sent Wimbledon champion Simona Halep packing.

They didn’t like it when Andreescu took a lengthy bathroom break before the third set. They really didn’t like it when Andreescu appeared to toss her racket in anger in that frame — landing quite close to the chair umpire.

There were baiting yells of “double fault!” when Andreescu tossed the ball on her second serve — indeed, she ended up racking eight of them. They cheered her misses.

She wasn’t just playing Townsend. She was playing just about everybody inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. And she had to shut her ears to the sour noise.

“It wasn’t easy,” Andreescu said after dispatching Townsend with a commanding 6-2 third set. “But I heard some Canadians fans here and there, which was nice, especially in tougher moments.”

Andreescu defeats Wozniacki to advance to fourth round at US Open

Andreescu defeats Wozniacki to advance to fourth round at US Open NEW YORK — Canada's Bianca Andreescu defeated former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6-4, 6-4 in third-round play at the U.S. Open on Saturday. 

Andreescu has played a heap of tennis this year but nothing since withdrawing from the second round of the French Open with an injured rotator cuff on the horizon. But Andreescu doesn’t play cautious tennis and she wasn’t going to be denied this gig, not after twice missing the event because of injuries

Andreescu delighted the crowd with a return through her legs and twice came back from a break down, both women frustrated — racket-banging — over wayward serves and an inability to “We’ll see.” Rosie DiManno is a columnist based in Toronto covering sports and current affairs.

Adding: “Obviously the crowd really helped her, I’m sure. But I just tried to stay in my own bubble. I tried to just focus on myself and my own game.”

It takes a while for even veteran “aliens” — or those who aren’t as everywhere beloved as Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal — to learn how to navigate the U.S. Open crowd. Novak Djokovic has admitted he pretended they were chanting his name — NOVAK! — when he played Federer in the 2015 final. The Serb was lustily booed when he retired in the middle of his match against Stan Wawrinka on Sunday with a shoulder injury.

Daniil Medvedev has been riding a wave of animosity at Flushing Meadows, first provoked when he snatched a towel too brusquely out of a ballboy’s hands apparently — which was replayed on the big screen — for which he received an unsportsmanlike code violation. Of course, the Russian revelled in his designated villainy, raising his arms to encourage the boos and even giving the crowd a finger. “Guys, continue to give me this energy,” he said on court, sarcastically. “You’re the best.”

Andreescu, however, is scarcely more than a kid, as new to the taunting masses as she is to the celebrity she’s earned over the past six months of brilliant tennis.

Bianca Andreescu gets prime-time slot for quarterfinals at U.S. Open

Bianca Andreescu gets prime-time slot for quarterfinals at U.S. Open NEW YORK — Bianca Andreescu is returning to prime time at the U.S. Open. The Canadian teen tennis star will play in the evening draw for the second match in a row when she faces Elise Mertens of Belgium in a quarterfinal on Wednesday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium. This time, though, Andreescu will be in the early evening match, starting at 7 p.m. ET. On Monday, her match against American Taylor Townsend didn't start until about 10:30 p.m., and didn't end until early Tuesday morning after the preceding men's clash between Rafael Nadal and Marin Cilic went four sets. On Wednesday, Nadal's quarterfinal will follow the Andreescu-Martens contest.

Andreescu consoles tennis great Serena Williams at courtside after back injury cuts short Sunday’ s Seemed more like the teenager who’d played her first Rogers Cup match when Andreescu was only a few From Andreescu , a vow: “This is just the beginning.” Rosie DiManno is a columnist based in

( Andreescu usually listens to Drake when she screws in her earbuds before walking on the court. Williams is currently at No. 9. Serena seems to have put her U . S . Open disappointment behind her already, though. Rosie DiManno is a columnist based in Toronto covering sports and current affairs.

She denied hurling her racket. “The time my racket flew out of my hand. (It) was not me throwing my racquet. It slipped. I meant to hit the ball on the other side. But, yeah, then I got a boo, which was nice.”

That was sarcasm too. She’s a quick study on sass, seems like.

“Other than that, no, I think I kept my cool,” she said of the Monday night into Tuesday morning match against Townsend, 23. “I think that’s the one thing I learned today. If I just keep calm, I stay as positive as I can, I think the crowd can’t beat me.”

A valuable bit of wisdom pried from the experience, which should serve Andreescu well going into Wednesday’s quarterfinal with No. 25 seed Elise Mertens of Belgium.

Thing is, apart from her occasional gusts to girlish exclamations, Andreescu is very much an alpha female, both in temperament and tennis. She hits the ball hard, executes a smart all-court game, dips into an arsenal of shotmaking to keep opponents off-balance, deploys cunning and athletic power. Agility allows her to defend well, retrieving balls in the corner. She’ll slice and smash. She’ll serve into the body. She is fearless.

And she’s done it all this year bracketed around a serious shoulder injury that caused her to retire after just one match at the French Open and pass on Wimbledon.

Yet Andreescu has nevertheless put up a 42-4 record in 2019, snatching two WTA marquee titles — Indian Wells in March and the Rogers Cup last month, where she became the first Canadian female to win the championship in half a century, albeit with Serena Williams retiring in the first set because of back spasms.

Bianca Andreescu beats Serena Williams in US Open final

Bianca Andreescu beats Serena Williams in US Open final Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu beats Serena Williams 6-3, 7-5 in U.S. Open final for first Grand Slam title.

The teen, only child of immigrants from Romania, has pretty much come out of nowhere, rocketing up the rankings from No. 178 at the start of the year to No. 15 as of this major, where she’s also seeded in New York. She’ll at least crack the top 12 when the new rankings come out on Monday.

But it’s been the way of it as well, a scrapper, 7-0 against top-10 women, including former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the third round at Flushing Meadows.

While Andreescu clearly doesn’t feel overawed by confronting the most accomplished of women across the net, the stars are aligning most fortuitously and favourably in New York. Gone already from her side of the draw are Naomi Osaka, Halep, Karolina Pliskova, Kiki Bertens, Aryna Sabalenka and Sloane Stephens, all seeded higher than Andreescu. Only Belinda Bencic of Switzerland remains as a higher seed at 13.

Of course, many are salivating over the potential of a Serena-Bianca final. But it’s dangerous to look too far ahead, as Andreescu well knows.

The quarters is a first-ever meeting for Andreescu and Mertens, 23, who’s only made it to the semifinal of a Slam once before.

“She takes the ball pretty well, from what I’ve seen,’’ said Andreescu of her pending opponent. “She tries to put pressure right from the start of the point. She’s pretty aggressive. I know she has a pretty decent serve, too. She fights really hard.

“I’m just going to go out there and play my game because it’s been working the last couple of months.

“This year has been the best year of my life so far. I’ve never felt this confident before.”

Rosie DiManno is a columnist based in Toronto covering sports and current affairs. Follow her on Twitter: @rdimanno

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Rosie DiManno: Toronto’s next big parade will be for Bianca Andreescu — if she wants it.
Rosie DiManno: Toronto’s next big parade will be for Bianca Andreescu — if she wants it

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