Andreescu becomes 1st Canadian in 50 years to reach Rogers Cup final

Ross Houston
August 11, 2019

Even as her body faltered, Bianca Andreescu's sheer will power carried her to an historic victory.

Andreescu is the first Canadian to make the Rogers Cup women's final in 50 years.

In the evening matches, American Serena Williams faced Naomi Osaka of Japan and qualifier Marie Bouzkova, also from the Czech Republic, played Simona Halep of Romania.

The 33-year-old will try to remain flawless in Rogers Cup finals after winning last year in Toronto against Stefanos Tsitsipas, which was also Nadal's first title win on Canadian soil since 2013.

It's Andreescu's first tournament after a right-shoulder injury sidelined her since the French Open in May.

Czech Bouzkova, 21, had said before the match she would be playing her idol but she showed no signs of being intimidated, in what was her first WTA semi-final appearance, and took the first set 6-1. She captured the title in Indian Wells, Calif., back in March, as part of a 10-match win streak. "I had zero expectations coming into this tournament".

Andreescu and Pliskova exchanged games again to make it 3-2 for the Czech player, but the Canadian seemed to have shaken off whatever had been bothering her legs earlier in the match. "The past couple of months have been so so so so tough", said Andreescu about her post-match celebrations. Andreescu needed to have her legs wrapped and taped during the second set of a gritty quarterfinal win over Karolina Pliskova on Friday. But the feisty Canadian broke right back to square it up and saved a pair of critical break points to stay on serve, going up 3-2.

Unfortunately for Bouzkova, the veteran Williams was determined to put herself in a position to win her first tournament since 2017. "So I'm going to go out there and just give my best performance". She dropped to her knees and covered her face before kissing the Aviva Centre's hardcourt. But it was at that point that matters got a little more complicated as the never-say-die Kenin clambered back into the match, levelling at 5-5 before saving three match points serving at 5-6 in a knife-edge seven-deuce tussle. After speaking with an on-court reporter she found her parents in the crowd for a lengthy embrace.

"It would be an honour to share the court with her". But I try to channel that pressure into something good.

Kenin took out world No. 1 and top seed Asheigh Barty in the second round, Dayana Yastremska in the third round, and two more seeded players, former Rogers Cup champion Belinda Bencic in the fourth round and Elina Svitolina in the quarters. Her most recent loss not related to a match retirement was at the hands of Kenin, in the semifinal in Acapulco, Mexico, back in February.

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