Andreescu defeats Cornet for first time; will face Zheng in Toronto – WTA Tennis
2019 champion Bianca Andreescu notched another key win on home soil at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers on Wednesday night, earning her first win over a player who had troubled her mightily in the past.
Andreescu topped Alizé Cornet 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in 2 hours and 26 minutes to reach the tournament’s Round of 16 for the third time in her career. Andreescu has now won eight matches in a row at the event when it is held in Toronto, which is the nearest major city to her hometown.
Words from the winner: “I think it was just the fighting spirit of both of us,” Andreescu reflected on the match. “She’s very consistent and I really had to push through, especially in the tough moments. I think I played those key moments a bit better today.
“I think especially in these tight matches, those are the key moments that you really need under your belt. And when you have them it definitely gives you a lot of confidence. And I hope I can continue that the rest of the tournament.”
Stat corner: Cornet had defeated Andreescu in straight sets in their two previous meetings, which both came in last year’s grass-court season, at Berlin and in the first round of Wimbledon. The third time was the charm for Andreescu as she finally got her first victory over Cornet.
Andreescu had not won back-to-back matches on hard court in nearly a year, with her last consecutive wins on the surface coming at the 2021 US Open. However, the former US Open champion backed up her Top 10 win over Daria Kasatkina from the first round, firing 27 winners past Cornet.
Andreescu had a matching 27 unforced errors in the encounter as well. However, Cornet finished the clash with less clean numbers than the Canadian, with 21 winners to 30 unforced errors.
Zheng to face Andreescu; Teichmann upsets Kontaveit
Earlier on Wednesday, Top 5 players Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit were ousted from the tournament in their opening matches following first-round byes.
Rising Chinese 19-year-old Zheng Qinwen was leading No.5 seed Jabeur 6-1, 2-1 when Jabeur retired from their second-round match due to abdominal pain. Zheng will be Andreescu’s opponent in the Round of 16, which will be their first meeting.
Zheng has now collected two hard-court match-wins in a row at tour-level for the first time since January. She has also garnered the first Top 10 win of her career with the victory over Jabeur, via retirement.
World No.51 Zheng is in the midst of her breakthrough season, which she started ranked No.143. Zheng was the only player to claim a set from eventual champion Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros.
And World No.21 Jil Teichmann upset No.2 seed Kontaveit 6-4, 6-4 in 1 hour and 27 minutes to reach the Round of 16 in Toronto. Teichmann converted four of her six break points while also fending off six of the eight break points she faced.
Teichmann earned the fifth Top 5 win of her career, and she defeated a current World No.2 for the second time. She had previously beaten then-No.2 Naomi Osaka during her run to the WTA 1000 Cincinnati final last year.
Teichmann, who beat former World No.1 Venus Williams in the first round, will square off against another former World No.1, two-time National Bank Open champion Simona Halep, in the Round of 16. Teichmann and Halep will meet for the first time.
Maple Leafs clinch playoff berth with Panthers loss to Senators
The Toronto Maple Leafs clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Monday.
The Maple Leafs (44-20-9), who clinched when the Florida Panthers lost 5-2 to the Ottawa Senators, are second in the Atlantic Division, 22 points behind the Boston Bruins and seven ahead of the third-place Tampa Bay Lightning.
It’s the seventh straight season Toronto has clinched a playoff berth. It hasn’t won a postseason series since 2004.
The Maple Leafs are led by forwards Mitchell Marner (94 points), William Nylander (81), Auston Matthews (77), and John Tavares (75). Ilya Samsonov is 24-9-3 with a 2.46 goals-against average, .914 save percentage and three shutouts in 36 games (35 starts). Matt Murray is 14-8-2 with a 2.97 GAA, .905 save percentage and one shutout in 25 games.
Toronto made several moves prior to the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline on March 3, acquiring forwards Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari from the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 17, defenseman Jake McCabe and forward Sam Lafferty from the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 27, defenseman Erik Gustafsson from the Washington Capitals on Feb. 28 and defenseman Luke Schenn from the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 28.
O’Reilly is expected back before the playoffs begin April 17. He hasn’t played since getting hit in the hand by Matthews’ shot in the second period of a 4-1 loss at the Vancouver Canucks on March 4 and was projected to be out four weeks.
The Maple Leafs have won the Stanley Cup 11 times, once each as the Toronto Arenas (1917-18) and the Toronto St. Patricks (1921-22). They are without an NHL championship since 1967.
Canadian Bianca Andreescu retires from Miami Open match after suffering injury
Canadian Bianca Andreescu suffered an apparent leg injury during the second set of her match against Ekaterina Alexandrova at the Miami Open on Monday.
Andreescu was injured in the third game of the second set of the Round of 16 match while trying to run down a ball in the back court. She remained down on the court, before receiving medical attention and leaving the court in a wheelchair.
Alexandrova won the first set of the match 7-6, Andreescu was up 2-0 in the second set when she retired from the match due to the injury.
The match was delayed for an hour by rain in the middle of the opening set.
The 22-year-old Canadian was playing well at the Miami tournament, entering play on Monday with victories over Emma Raducanu, No. 7 Maria Sakkari and Sofia Kenin earlier in the competition.
Quick Reaction: Wizards 104, Raptors 114
|O. Anunoby37 MIN, 29 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 11-21 FG, 4-10 3FG, 3-4 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, 18 +/-
From the opening tip OG was a force offensively and continued to flash the self creation signs that everyone wants to see, he had a career high 18 in the first quarter and hit a lot of tough jumpers off the bounce, as well as spaced the floor with catch and shoot triples.
|P. Siakam34 MIN, 19 PTS, 11 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 7-17 FG, 1-3 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -3 +/-
Pretty poor game from Pascal by his standards, a lot of shots seemed forced and he couldn’t finish through contact, very well, his playmaking also was muted because he seemed to be hunting his own shot.
|J. Poeltl26 MIN, 12 PTS, 12 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 6-9 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 7 +/-
Jakob’s floaters and push shots worked wonderfully tonight and he did a great job not rushing it like he does most games, offensive rebounding was also key as well, Jakob had 6 in this game which led to countless second chance points.
|S. Barnes32 MIN, 13 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST, 3 STL, 5-14 FG, 0-2 3FG, 3-3 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 10 +/-
Solid game in his first game back from injury, hit some tough looks in the paint, passing looked good tonight as well, efficiency was a bit off but we can chalk that up to being rusty.
|F. VanVleet36 MIN, 28 PTS, 4 REB, 7 AST, 3 STL, 10-21 FG, 5-9 3FG, 3-3 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 11 +/-
Offensive masterclass from Fred VanVleet, he was zooming all over the floor and he was really burning Washington with his outside shooting, but his playmaking shined really bright tonight as well.
|W. Barton04 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-
Left the game early with an injury.
|C. Boucher22 MIN, 6 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 10 +/-
Boucher was battling on the class yet again and often gave Toronto an extra look tonight, he also was solid as a rim protector as well.
|J. Dowtin Jr.19 MIN, 3 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 14 +/-
Didn’t add a whole lot offensively but he was harassing guys on ball as a defender, and moving the rock well as well, would like to see Dowtin look for his own a bit more often
|C. Koloko15 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 3 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 7 +/-
Koloko entered the game by recording a steal and then a block on back to back possessions, and then he continued to play solid defense in drop coverage, really strong game for the rook.
|M. Flynn07 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-3 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -10 +/-
Didn’t take advantage of his looks on the floor tonight.
|P. Achiuwa06 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -10 +/-
Another rough night for Precious as he tries to regain his footing, just couldn’t find it defensively, ran the floor in transition just fine during limited time.
Although Toronto was healthier, Nurse didn’t force anyone into minutes that were going to damage the team.
Things We Saw
- OG Anunoby flashed creation skills once again, in the face up game he burned Washington many times and he even hit a pull up three.
- Christian Koloko played some pretty nice defense, his technique in drop was really good tonight.
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