Bianca Andreescu was in for a tough day in her quarterfinal debut at the US Open. Not only was she taking on Elise Mertens, who has six wins against Top 20 opponents this season, but the conditions on Arthur Ashe Stadium were incredibly difficult. Humid and muggy temperatures were a consistent challenge to both players throughout the match. Despite this, the 19-year-old was able to conquer the heat, winning in three sets 3-6 6-2 6-3 to advance to her first Grand Slam semifinal.
Following a familiar script, Andreescu started out slow. Mertens could not miss a shot, painting lines off the ground and serving superbly. Andreescu had her back against the wall. But at 2-2 in the second set, the young star fought back from break points down to hold serve. The subsequent game, Andreescu held at love to get her first break of the match. Her impressive repertoire of shots, from the drop shot to the slice, was put on full display as Andreescu rattled off four straight games to take the second set 6-3.
The third set was even more challenging for Andreescu. It was clear the conditions were getting even more humid, with the Canadian requiring a towel and a water bottle in between points. But the 19 year old never faced a break point in the set. On her sixth break point faced, Andreescu finally capitalized to break at 5-3, where she subsequently held serve to survive the difficult test.
With her victory, Bianca Andreescu improves to 17-3 in three set matches this year. She becomes the first Canadian since Carling Bassett-Seguso in 1984 to make the US Open semifinals. Andreescu’s next opponent is Belinda Bencic, who has also reached her first Grand Slam semifinal of her career and beat world #1 and defending champion Naomi Osaka in the fourth round. The semifinal will be no easy task for Andreescu. But given the difficult conditions she conquered in her quarterfinal match, the Canadian is not afraid of pressure and to dig deep.
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