The match started poorly for Iga, with a series of uncharacteristic errors lending Andreescu the shock first break of the match. But a sniper of a cross-court two handed backhand gave Iga Swiatek the break back. Andreescu’s balls seemed to be landing deep into Iga’s side of the baselines, often at times seeming as though every few balls were catching the line. At 2 all, 30-30, Andreescu simply out strategised Swiatek and made an almost chess-like move to ice off her forehand to get a break point opportunity. However that came and went with Swiatek drawing level at deuce again. The next passage of play was simply extraordinary- with Swiatek employing a Federer-esque inside out forehand to push Andreescu from corner to corner. A defensive masterclass from Andreescu- as well as forcing an out ball from Swiatek allowed for her a break point opportunity over Iga.
Just as that break point came, it also went- with Iga Swiatek firing off an ace to get back to deuce. However Swiatek was her own most enemy, firing off long balls- something that Bianca did not seem to be doing at all. Regardless, this was beautiful tennis in the women’s game- clean ball striking and extended rallying which employed everything, from slice backhands to overhead smashes. Nevertheless, a ball dumped into the net gave Iga Swiatek, incredibly, the lead at 3-2.
In Andreescu’s service game, Iga went back behind on the rally to obtain a love-15 early game lead. The very next point, Iga employed a powerful forehand to Bianca’s left blind side gaining further traction in this 4-2 game. However against the run of play, Andreescu arrested the bleeding and got on the board in this game. Regardless, Iga was not to be denied, coming out of seemingly nowhere to be the front runner in this match, and snatched a 4-2 lead, breaking Andreescu in the process.
The next service game was pretty much all Iga’s, despite not getting an ace in. This then led to Bianca Andreescu serving to stay in the set at 5-2. Andreescu went off to a good start, leading 30-0 on her service game-but the floodgates started to open and she was then back level at 30-all. Andreescu then fired off an ace when she got to 40-30, positioning herself at a right angle and and letting out a sharp yell of “come on”. However, again Iga was not to be denied, rattling off 3 points in succession in the blink of an eye to set up 3 set points. Despite this, a long ball from Andreescu was temporary respite for the talented Canadian. Iga Swiatek made a fault serving on her second set point, but re-tooled to get into a rally with Andreescu-before a very unfortunate deflection off the netcord blocked Andreescu’s ball- clinching the first set for Swiatek.
The second set started off an an almost inverse fashion. Iga Swiatek led 2-0 in the second set, before Bianca Andreescu flipped the table and exploded to a 4-2 lead and seemed destined to win the second set. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, as Bianca was beaten to the punch, dropping 4 of the next 6 games. In the tiebreak things also didn’t go to plan, and she eventually lost the match. Regardless, matches like these prove just how underrated the WTA can be. Andreescu is one of the few players, female or male, who at her best can make tennis an extremely flowing and beautiful game to watch. At her best, there are very few out balls, the sound of the ball off her racquet is incredible, and the ball is kept in play for the overwhelming majority of her matches. Many many players do not possess the ability to do such a thing, and it is a testament that serve-miss nature of many matches can be avoided.