Faced with adversity Sunday, Canada’s Bianca Andreescu found a way to persevere.
It wasn’t easy, but the Mississauga, Ont., product gritted out a 7-6 (4), 6-7 (2), 6-4 third-round win over American Amanda Anisimova at the Miami Open.
Andreescu struggled in the second set, giving up two breaks, but hung on and won 83 per cent of her service points in the third set to capture a victory in a match that lasted two hours 44 minutes.
“I know that [my game] can be better but I’m trying to find ways to push through on my off days. And I think I’m doing that well,” she said.
“I think that’s what makes a really good player and I’m trying to be that really good player like I was in 2019. And I did that today. I just want to fight and give it my all and the rest will come.”
The 28th-seeded Anisimova saved 14 of 17 break points against Andreescu. The American had only two break-point chances, but converted on both.
WATCH | Andreescu beats Anisimova:
Anisimova was a tough opponent, Andreescu said.
“She’s super erratic. She slaps every ball but she slaps very well,” she said. “She’s a really good player. It was tough. I was getting to a lot of balls I didn’t even think I could get to. But that just shows that all the preparation I’m putting in is paying off.”
The eighth-seeded Andreescu, 20, will face No. 12 seed Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain in the round of 16 on Monday night. Andreescu won the only previous match between the two, beating Muguruza en route to her first career WTA Tour title in Indian Wells, Calif., in 2019.
“I have to be on my A-game tomorrow because I know Muguruza’s tough to play,” the Canadian said.
Andreescu’s parents and dog were among those in attendance
Andreescu will likely have some support in the stands. Her parents and dog, Coco, were among the limited fans in attendance on Sunday.
Hearing their support on the court was “incredible,” Andreescu said.
Andreescu fought off two set points in the first set of her opening match in Miami, rallying to beat Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic 7-6 (5), 6-2.
The Canadian, who had a first-round bye, returned from a 16-month layoff following a knee injury in February at the Australian Open, losing in the second round.
Andreescu followed that up by reaching the semifinals of an event in Melbourne for players eliminated early from the Australian Open, but a leg injury suffered there kept her out until Miami.
Andreescu is trying to recapture the form of her breakthrough 2019 season when she won three tournaments, including the U.S. Open.
Osaka makes 4th round in Miami for 1st time with walkover
Naomi Osaka advanced to the fourth round of the Miami Open for the first time in her career Sunday when qualifier Nina Stojanovic withdrew from their match shortly before the scheduled start because of a right thigh injury.
Osaka, ranked No. 2, has won 22 consecutive matches since her most recent defeat in February 2020, and she earned her fourth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open last month. But in Miami, where she is making her fifth appearance, she has previously made early exits.
Among the matches scheduled for later Sunday were No. 4-seeded Sofia Kenin against No. 27 Ons Jabeur, and No. 6 Karolina Pliskova against No. 29 Jessica Pegula. In men’s play, No. 1 Daniil Medvedev was to take on Alexei Popyrin.
Rafael Nadal rallies from set down to advance in Barcelona
Top seed Rafael Nadal rallied from a set back to beat Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 on Wednesday in the second round at the Barcelona Open in Spain.
Nadal lost serve in the opening game of the match and wasn’t able to break Ivashka’s serve throughout the first set. He won just 70.6 percent of points on his first serve, was broken twice and had two double faults in an uncharacteristically poor showing on service in the opening set.
By the second set, he had righted his serve, winning 86.7 percent of points on his first serve in the second set and 83.3 percent in the third. He didn’t face a break point in either set.
In other action, No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, No. 3 Andrey Rublev of Russia, No. 4 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, No. 6 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain and No. 10 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada were among those advancing.
No. 9 Fabio Fognini of Italy defaulted for verbal abuse. He was losing 6-0, 4-4 to Zapata Miralles of Spain when the line judge reported him for swearing after a foot fault. He had been warned earlier in the match
Top seed and home-country favorite Novak Djokovic needed just 68 minutes to top South Korean Soon-woo Kwon 6-1, 6-3 and advance to the quarterfinals in Belgrade, Serbia.
Djokovic capitalized on five of his eight service break opportunities in the win. In the next round, he’ll meet fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic, the eighth seed, who needed three sets to oust Arthur Rinderknech of France 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
Also advancing was the No. 2 seed, Matteo Berrettini, who defeated fellow Italian Marco Cecchinato 6-4, 6-3. Fifth seed Filip Krajinovic beat Nikola Milojevic 6-1, 6-1 in an all-Serb match.
(Field Level Media)
Ice hockey-Women’s world championships cancelled due to COVID-19
(Reuters) -The women’s ice hockey world championships set to be played in Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia have been cancelled because of a surge in COVID-19 cases in Canada, Hockey Canada said on Wednesday.
The announcement came one day before the 10 teams were to arrive to begin their quarantine ahead of the May 6-16 tournament.
“This is very disappointing news to receive with just a few weeks until the tournament was to begin,” said International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel in a statement.
“We strongly believe that we had the adequate safety measures in place. In the end, we must accept the decision of the government.”
The IIHF and Hockey Canada were informed by the Nova Scotia provincial government on Wednesday that the 10-country tournament could not go ahead due to safety concerns associated with COVID-19.
Still the news came as a shock after Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer had 24 hours earlier given the event the thumbs- up.
“At five o’clock this morning we were full go and at 7:30 am we were not,” explained Hockey Canada chief executive officer Tom Renney. “That is the way the world is right now and there is only so much we can control.
“At the end of the day there is a bigger game than the one we play here and quite honestly it is about the safety of the general public.”
The cancellation was another blow for the women’s game that has endured a number of recent setbacks, including the folding of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.
It was also the second consecutive year the Nova Scotia world championships have been stopped by COVID-19.
“Definitely, a little bit of disbelief, a little shock, a lot of emotion,” said Canadian coach Gina Kingsbury, who pulled some players off the ice to deliver the bad news. “This is a group that has been through a lot this past year and two years so they are definitely familiar with disappointing news.”
Both the IIHF and Hockey Canada indicated they plan to play the world championships this year, possibly this summer, in Canada.
“Our intention, and that of the IIHF, is to reconnect with this event as a world championship in 2021 in Canada,” said Renney. “That’s our number one objective. We have every desire to hold this event in Canada.”
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Ed Osmond)
Nick Foligno hopes to make Leafs debut Thursday vs. Jets
Former Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno is eyeing Thursday as his potential debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs, he said on an NHL.com podcast.
The Maple Leafs acquired the left wing on April 11 in a three-team trade with Columbus and the San Jose Sharks, with each team retaining a portion of Foligno’s salary so he can join the North Division leaders for their Stanley Cup pursuit. Toronto visits the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
Because he moved from the U.S. to Canada, Foligno was required to quarantine for seven days before joining his new team for practices and games, in accordance with COVID-19 protocols.
“Seven days of just nothing, and then you jump right into it, it would be nice to probably have a practice, but I rather just that — let’s go,” Foligno said on “The Chirp with Darren Millard.” “I’m here to play for them and get this thing rolling, so I probably prefer just to jump right into it and get going.”
If the Leafs put Foligno in their lineup Thursday at Winnipeg, he’ll get to play against his former Columbus teammate, Pierre-Luc Dubois.
Foligno played eight-plus seasons for the Blue Jackets and his first five NHL seasons with the Ottawa Senators. In 950 career games, he has tallied 203 goals and 279 assists.
The Maple Leafs sent their 2021 first-round pick and 2022 fourth-rounder to Columbus and their 2021 fourth-rounder to San Jose in order to add Foligno to their stacked group of forwards, which includes NHL goal-scoring leader Auston Matthews, John Tavares and Mitch Marner.
Foligno’s father, Mike Foligno, was an NHL veteran who played parts of four seasons for the Leafs
(Field Level Media)
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