Tennis Prose




Mar/21

30

Bibi Is Back!

One of the elite WTA champions is back on the scene and she is healthy and in near top form.

Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 US Open champion, missed over a year with injuries, but the Canadian 20 year old is making up for lost time with some vintage stunning Bibi tennis in the Miami Open.

Andreescu needed her A plus game to overcome the formidable challenges this week in Miami from Tereza Martincova, Amanda Anisimova and Garbine Muguruza, but that she did with two superb three set triumphs. Anisimova and Muguruza pushed Bibi to her limits but Bibi is ready to rumble with anyone.

Andreescu only played two tournaments after her 2019 US Open conquest over Serena Williams 63 75 and then missed all of 2020.

WTA no. 9 Andreescu returned this year at the Australian Open and won her first rounder vs Mihaela Buzarnescu 62 46 63 but then ran into the Su-Wei Hsieh tornado and succumbed 36 26.

Then at the WTA 250 in Melbourne, Bibi got her game back, beating Zarina Diyas, Madison Brengle and Irina Camelia Begu in three sets before losing in the semis to Marie Bouzkova 76 26 57.

With some match play under her belt and her new team and physio, Bibi looks in the best shape of her career and the performances we expect from this extraordinary talent are now being executed.

Yesterday’s win vs Muguruza was impressive because the towering Spanish powerhouse has won eight matches in a row and really should have won the AO – she had two match points on the eventual champion Naomi Osaka but failed to convert them into victory. Osaka survived the Muguruza peril and then marched her way to the Australian Open title, besting rival Serena Williams in the final.

It’s safe to say Muguruza is in perhaps the finest form of her career right now but Andreescu was up to the task.

“Even when I’m down I know I can find a way. Most of the time, not all of the time. Most of the time, I can always find a way and come back and do really, really well,” said Bibi after beating Muguruza last night. “I keep proving that to myself, and it’s really nice to get that under my belt. I felt super, super pumped the whole match, considering everything that’s been happening. I’m just super, super happy.”

Bibi suggested a strategy adjustment was the key to her victory.

“It was really tough. She started out playing really, really well. I don’t think I was at the level I wanted to be right at the start of the match, because I knew she was going to come out really, really strong, and that’s what she did,” Andreescu told tennis reporters after the hard fought win. “But I had to re-adapt, which I did in the second set. I regrouped. I kept fighting. I changed my game plan a little bit as well. And it worked.”

“I felt like at the beginning I wasn’t as consistent. She was just playing really, really well, as well, on top of that. But I felt like I was going too much on her forehand in the first set, so I kind of regrouped and I tried to pick what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. I just told myself, ‘Okay, her backhand was still really good but I’ll pick on that a little bit more.’ That made a big difference.”

With her swagger and confidence back and soaring, Andreescu is three steps away from collecting the Miami Open title. Her QF opponent will be the tenacious, rising Spanish force Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Notes: Former two time AO champ Johan Kriek loves Bibi: “Glad to see Andreescu back in form. I always thought she was a better player than Osaka….. better serve anyways….quite possibly a world number 1! Hope she beats Muguruza.”

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14 comments

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 30, 2021 at 10:48 am

    Lovely to see Andreescu flying high once again. Her best tennis is ahead. The WTA desperately needs her on the scene.

  • catherine · April 1, 2021 at 2:42 am

    Bianca needs some 2 set matches – those 3 setters are killing her. Against Sakkari ? That’s going to be tough.

    BTW – Naomi was terrible. She’s spending too much time on outside activities in California with her boyfriend. I give Wim a year.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 1, 2021 at 8:38 am

    Catherine, no Bibi needs these epic war battles to make her match tough and match fit. These wins give her the most confidence for future. These are huge wins for her. Bibi is back better than ever. Osaka ws due for a bad match, they happen to even the best – Remember Martina losing to Horvath, Pete losing to Bastl, Rafa losing to Brown and Rosol. Playing Osaka is the match of everyone’s career now. Sakkari is a rising force.

  • Doug Day · April 1, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    Scoop I told somebody half jokingly “we’ll be happier with just the kids in Miami anyway!” Damned if it didnt happen.
    Even let the aged RBA take out the world no.2! Viva los ninos!

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 1, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    And Hurkacz beats the black shirt donned Tsitsipas in a very hot humid Miami day. How could he wear a black shirt in that sun heat?

  • Doug Day · April 1, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    There running an hour late but its SRQ’s Buster Douglas time should Sebastian ding Rublev tonight. WHATS THE HOLDUP?

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 1, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    Rain delays in Miami, Korda dead even so far with Rublev, he can pull this off. I think he can beat anyone right now except Djokovic and Nadal. But they will be solved soon, soon as in maybe later this year.

  • catherine · April 2, 2021 at 2:03 am

    Well Scoop, that was another lung-busting epic from Bianca but it doesn’t put her in a good place for the final. Sakkari has been very good in Miami. I’m impressed by her play – not so much by her hairstyle, known in my part of the world as a ‘Croydon facelift’ 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 2, 2021 at 8:44 am

    Bibi looks almost unbeatable right now. She is a joy to watch on many levels. Sakkari is very impressive and her on court presence and intensity is more intimidating than plenty of ATP players, namely Gasquet and Mannarino. Sakkari really wants it and I think she’s going to get it soon. Bibi will be ready for the final, for sure.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 3, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    Barty was super sharp today to win the final vs Bibi 63 40 ret. Bibi fell in the second set and retired a game later after a timeout, with ankle taping not working. But at least after the match Bibi elected not to use any ice on the injury, she changed shoes and socks on court, using no ice and there was no limping when she returned to court and walked over to make her finalist speech. So the good news it looks like the injury is very minimal if anything at all. Barty was just too good today, too sharp, too perfect. It looked like Bibi was a little tired early and flat, she had an exhausting journey to the final which surely drained her.

  • catherine · April 4, 2021 at 2:05 am

    It’s apparently her foot – where B’s suffered a stress fracture before so the best decision by her team to take her out.

    But that serve needs fixing – she was down in the 70s and 80s (mph) too many times in previous matches. No free points and a lot of sets.

    Good sportsmanship all round in the speeches.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 4, 2021 at 8:43 am

    She had the ankle taped too. Barty was just too good, Barty played near perfect. Bibi had her chances but Barty was dominant yesterday. That Bibi had no limp, no pain and used no ice on her foot ankle after the match is a very good sign for her future and that this injury may have been more phantomish than real.

  • Krzysztof · April 5, 2021 at 9:31 am

    Hubert Hurkacz is first Polish male player to win Masters tournament. Cooperation with Craig Boyndon finally brings success – Hubert game has improved as his serve, return of serve and net attacks are better and better. He is also more vocal on the court. I hope it will also transfer to better results at Grand Slams. Sinner was quite impatient and made too many unforced errors however his game is really fluid and quick.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 5, 2021 at 11:37 am

    Krzysztof, two years ago I asked Djokovic at Miami Open, about how he uplifted tennis up above Fed and Nadal and now who does he see being the one potentially capable of uplifting tennis above where he has lifted it? And Djokovic answered: Felix and Shap maybe and also he mentioned Hurkacz. Now Hurkacz is making Djokovic look very perceptive and smart. Hurkacz said yesterday that seeing Swiatek win Roland Garros was incredible and inspiring and now he has the belief he can win the big tournaments.

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