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By Richard Pagliaro | Saturday, August 31, 2019



NEW YORK—Running back to chase a lob, Bianca Andreescu broke into the wide grin of a woman who loves her job.

Playing on the biggest stage in Grand Slam tennis, Andreescu competed with creative joy continuing her continental command dismissing 19th-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4, 6-4, to race into the US Open round of 16 for the first time.

More: Townsend Into First US Open Fourth Round

The 19-year-old Canadian raised her record against Top 20 opponents to 9-3 becoming the fifth teenager in the last six years to reach the Flushing Meadows fourth round.

“I think I played great tennis, so did Caroline,” Andreescu told ESPN’s Rennae Stubbs afterward. “So I’m really pleased with my performance. This is why the US Open is special because of you guys. The largest court in tennis—it was super fun.”

The Indian Wells and Toronto champion continued tearing up her favorite surface scoring her ninth straight hard-court victory.




What a difference a year makes.

A year ago, Andreescu fell in qualifying at all four Grand Slam events. Now, she's delivered her best Grand Slam result in New York.

Andreescu improved to 27-2 on North American hard courts this season with her lone losses coming to Sofia Kenin in the Acapulco quarterfinals and her setback to Anett Kontaveit in the Miami round of 16 when the Canadian retired trailing, 6-1, 2-0, due to an arm issue. Andreescu has not lost a completed match since bowing to Kenin.

“Everything is just clicking with me,” said Andreescu, who defeated Wozniacki by the same score en route to the Auckland final in January. “I have an amazing team around me I’ve been through a lot with injuries so I’m just taking everything I learned from the last couple of years and taking it into this year.”

The 15th-seeded Andreescu will ride a nine-match winning streak into her fourth-round showdown vs. red-hot Taylor Townsend.

The American qualifier backed up her second-round stunner over Wimbledon champion Simona Halep with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over another Romanian, Sorana Cirstea.

The left-handed Townsend, who attacked net 106 times toppling Halep, won 47 of 75 net approaches vs. Cirstea.



It will be the first singles match between the 116th-ranked Townsend and Andreescu, however the pair did square off in doubles earlier this week. Townsend and partner Whitney Osuigwe defeated Andreescu and compatriot Sharon Fichman, 6-2, 6-3, on Court 9 in an opening-round doubles win.

"Well, there aren't a lot of players that play like her, so I'm going to do my best to figure out what to do when she comes to the net," Andreescu said. "Like I said, I'm going to work on my passing shots tomorrow and stay as aggressive as I can."

Down a set and a double break, prospects were grim for the blonde Dane. Wozniacki began to soak up Andreescu’s shots drawing more misses to spark a six-point run that got her back in the set.

When the Toronto champion slapped a forehand into net, Wozniacki had her second straight break to level six games into the second set.

The 19-year-old Canadian has more gears to her game than Wozniacki. Andreescu can play sharper angles, shift spins more effectively and is much smoother in transition and closing at net.

"I think she's playing very well and mixing up the pace," Wozniacki said. "She's taking it early. She has a lot of shots in her game that she can pull out. I tried my best. I fought hard. That's it."

Spreading the court with an acute-angled backhand return, Andreescu gave the former No. 1 little breathing room in a dynamic point. Wozniacki sailed her signature shot, the two-handed backhand, as Andreescu earned the fourth straight break of the set in the ninth game.

A hopping Andreescu poked a high forehand volley into the open court capping a creative one hour, 33-minute victory.

Donna Vekic reeled off eight of the last nine games grinding down Yulia Putintseva, 6-4, 6-1, advancing to her first US Open fourth round. Vekic has now reached the round of 16 on three different Grand Slam surfaces, including fourth-round results at the 2018 Wimbledon and 2019 Roland Garros.

Up next for Vekic is a fourth-round showdown vs. Julia Goerges.

The No. 26-seeded Goerges converted four of seven break-point chances stopping seventh-seeded Kiki Bertens, 6-2, 6-3, charging into the fourth round for the second time in the last three years.


 

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