Bianca Andreescu vs Harriet Dart
This match had plenty of controversy.
During the sit-down after the first set, there were people screaming and rooting for Andreescu. Mind you, this is a stadium that seems to have about a dozen people watching the match! One older fan was whistling extremely loudly, almost like this match was the final of the US Open. That brought a lot of excitement and energy to this match. Bianca Andreescu noticeably smiled and laughed at the scenes in the crowd. The extreme levels of cheering in such a small and empty stadium was clearly very amusing for Andreescu.
However, the line calling has been even more controversial on Day 1 of the Thailand Open. 2 calls were overruled just this match, with 2 previous calls also overruled in the preceding match involving Dayana Yastremska in Hua Hin. That’s 4 wrong calls in just 2 matches on Day 1 of the Hua Hin Open. One particular call which provoked an angry reaction from Andreescu was an incident involving a ball that was called out which the umpire then deemed wasn’t. The umpire also claimed the incorrect call was not hindrance- provoking Andreescu to respond “come on, that’s BS”.
In the second set, a bug also needed to be removed from the court by a linesperson. Shortly before this, there was a really hilarious scene where a few middle aged fans were almost imitating a bumper car and barging into each other’s shoulders.
Review of play
Just really clean ball striking from Bianca. Dart was the complete opposite until she rallied back to break Andreescu twice in a row in the 2nd set. Andreescu was keeping the ball in the middle of Dart’s court and going coast to coast with an aggressive style of play that was safe and going from right to left in the middle of Dart’s side of the court. Bianca was making almost all her first serves- which contrasted heavily to Dart who was the inverse. Andreescu also employed a seriously beautiful low-volley off a blisteringly fast return from Dart, which she finessed over the net incredibly with the racquet face. Overall Bianca was moving Dart laterally, yet hitting the ball cleanly about 2m in from each tram line