Canadian Bianca Andreescu’s win streak comes to an end with loss to Osaka

Naomi Osaka, 21, had her 10th and final ace on her third match point to prevail

After a thrilling quarterfinal at the China Open, Bianca Andreescu and Naomi Osaka embraced at the net and exchanged compliments.

It could be the first of many similar moments between two of the top players in women’s tennis.

Canada’s Andreescu finally saw her WTA Tour season-high win streak of 17 matches come to an end with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 loss to Japan’s Osaka on Friday.

“I just told her that she was an amazing player. She said ‘same’ and that we’ll play again multiple times, which I hope doesn’t happen,” Osaka said with a chuckle when asked about her chat with Andreescu at the net after their first career meeting.

Osaka, ranked fourth in the world, fought back from a break down in both the second and third sets to end three streaks for the sixth-ranked Andreescu, a 19-year-old from Mississauga, Ont.

Along with the win run ending, Andreescu suffered her first loss in nine matches this season against a top-10 opponent and saw her streak of 13 consecutive wins in three-set matches halted.

“For me, it was really stressful,” Osaka, 21, said of a match that lasted almost two hours 15 minutes.

“I’m glad it was entertaining for everyone. Playing against her for the first time was really special. I think that it kind of lived up to the hype.”

Osaka, 21, had her 10th and final ace on her third match point to prevail.

READ MORE: Andreescu wins second-round match at China Open, 16th match in a row

The Andreescu-Osaka match featured the winners of the past three hard-court Grand Slams — the 19-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., won this year’s U.S. Open, while Osaka won the 2019 Australian Open and the 2018 U.S. Open.

“For me I just kept telling myself to fight and I’ll have the opportunities,” Osaka said. “Thankfully, that’s what happened.”

Osaka will face No. 16 seed/defending champion Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the semifinals of the US$8.285 million China Open on Saturday.

The other semifinal of the WTA Premier-Mandatory event pits top-ranked Ash Barty of Australia against No. 8 seed Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.

Barty reached the semifinals in the draw by beating Petra Kvitova 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

“From my opinion, that was one of the highest quality matches I played all year,” said Barty, the French Open champion. “Petra always has a way of bringing out the best in me, she really does.”

Barty converted three of her six break points while Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, was two for seven.

Bertens defeated Elina Svitolina 7-6 (6), 6-2.

“I think this week I played some better tennis again,” said Bertens, who amassed 36 winners to Svitolina’s 16. “I think then with some pressure and playing better all the time, it’s good for me. It says for myself that I was growing a lot over the last few years.”

Andreescu’s ranking could be fourth (which would be an all-time high for a Canadian woman), fifth or sixth next week, depending on how the tournament plays out.

If Osaka wins her semi, Andreescu would be no better than fifth next week. If Osaka prevails in the semi and Bertens wins the tournament, Andreescu would stay at No. 6.

On the men’s side, Andy Murray’s run at the China Open is over.

The former No. 1, who had won consecutive singles matches for the first time since undergoing hip surgery in January, lost to top-seeded Dominic Thiem 6-2, 7-6 (3) Friday in the quarterfinals.

Thiem broke the 32-year-old Murray in the first game of the match, but the British player made things more difficult in the second set, testing his younger opponent’s nerve in finishing out the match.

Also, Karen Khachanov beat Fabio Fognini 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

— with files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Nanaimo non-profits ask for volunteer receptionists

Nanaimo Disability Resource Centre and Volunteer Nanaimo have opportunities available

Gabriola Island artist recounts creative journey, struggles in new memoir

Tammy Hudgeon presents ‘Tender Brave Spirit: An Expressive Life Almost Missed’

City of Nanaimo takes inventory of its land for official community plan review

Report recommends high-density residential development, identifies shortage of industrial land

Neighbours corral suspected impaired driver after crash in south Nanaimo

Car went off road, hit pickup truck and retaining wall before striking house on weekend

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district considers COVID-19 lessons in planning for fall

Elementary, secondary school committees formed to plan for next school year

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Surrey in rare position to redefine policing amid calls for defunding

The wheels were set in motion for the new police service in 2018

UPDATE: Vancouver Island skydiving community mourns loss of one of its own

James Smith, 34, of Victoria, dies in Nanoose Bay incident

Elizabeth May endorses Furstenau in BC Greens race

Former federal party leader backs Cowichan Valley MLA

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Most Read