One year ago Canada’s Bianca Andreescu had lost in the second round at a $25k ITF tournament in Tokyo, she was ranked at no. 198. Fast-forward a year and she is the Indian Wells Champion.
The 18-year-old Canadian pulled off a stunning 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win over reigning Wimbledon champion and former World No.1 Angelique Kerber of Germany, clinching her maiden WTA singles title at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday afternoon.
Kerber gave up the first game of the match after a double fault on the fourth break point. Andreescu would not face a breakpoint on the way to claiming the first set.
The German came back strong in the second set as she raised her level and Andreescu dropped her level. Kerber won the second set with just one break of serve.
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Photo: Bianca Andreescu of Canada poses with the championship trophy after her three set victory against Angelique Kerber of Germany in the women’s final on day fourteen of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 17, 2019 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
“I have been in the zone, I think, every match,” Andreescu exclaimed to the press, following her victory. “There were some ups and downs in some matches, obviously. Tennis isn’t a perfect sport. So I’m just — this means everything to me.”
In the semifinal match against Elina Svitolina, Andreescu looked down and out against the world no. 6, but she found a way to claim the victory. Again, against Kerber, it looked like she was gone after Kerber broke for a 3-2 lead in the third set.
The Canadian was struggling physically, she had her shoulder strapped and she was cramping, or at least was very fatigued.
Instead of falling in a heap, Andreescu hit with more power as Kerber herself looked tired. It was a matter of hitting for glory. With Kerber serving at 3-2, 15-30, Andreescu went on the attack to bring up two break points. She would convert to get back on serve.
Andreescu was serving for the match at 5-3, after winning three games in a row. She stumbled as Kerber hit back to break after Andreescu had let three championship points slip away.
Kerber after saving the match-points would have been feeling good, but then the power game of the Canadian kicked in. She was swinging big to win the first point of the tenth game. Kerber hit back for 15-15 before Andreescu hit a big forehand winner to move to 15-30.
Andreescu then dumped a shot into the net for the score to move to 30-30. As Kerber was playing it safe hitting up the centre of the court it was Andreescu that stepped it up, she hit a huge forehand winner to bring up a fourth championship point.
The championship was Andreescu’s after Kerber hit a backhand into the net. Andreescu ran a few steps and then fell to the court in celebration. After getting up and shaking hands with Kerber the Canadian then just fell to the court to soak up the moment.
After claiming her first WTA title Andreescu jumps 36 places to sit at no. 24. It remains to be seen how she recovers for the upcoming Miami Premier Mandatory tournament. Kerber moved to world no. 4, up from no. 8. She would have been at no. 2 with a victory in Indian Wells.
Video highlights from the Kerber vs Andreescu final at Indian Wells
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