Never in her young career had 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu lost to a Top 10 player (read: never in 2019, as all her previous eight clashes with Top 10 stars happened this season), until today’s China Open quarterfinals, when former world No.1 Naomi Osaka squeezed past her 5-7 6-3 6-4 and ended her 17-match winning streak that includes the Rogers Cup and US Open.
The world No.6 Andreescu, the highest-ranked teenager on tour who was ranked No.231 this time last year, opened the match with a 5-1 lead, but when errors crept in, the fourth-seeded Osaka leveled to 5-5. The mentally-strong Andreescu wasn’t intimidated by Osaka’s surge. The Canadian broke the Japanese again and finished the set with a love hold.
In the second set, Osaka completed her resurgence and won five games in a row from 1-3 to take the match into the decider in which she again recovered from a 1-3 deficit and capitalized on her third match point.
This was just the first match in the rivalry between Osaka and Andreescu, young Grand Slam champions who are expected to rule the WTA tour for the long time to come.
Osaka’s semifinal opponent will be 16th-seeded defending champion Caroline Wozniacki, who came back from a break down in both sets to outlast Daria Kasatkina 6-3 7-6(5) in the only quarterfinal this Friday that didn’t feature two Top 10 stars.
The other semifinal at the Premier Mandatory tournament in Beijing will be contested between top seed Ashleigh Barty and eighth seed Kiki Bertens. In a closely-contested quarterfinal, Barty defeated seventh seed Petra Kvitova 4-6 6-4 6-3, who always forces the Australian to exhibit her best tennis, while Kiki Bertens advanced by defeating No.3 seed Elina Svitolina 7-6(6) 6-2.