MIAMI, March 24, 2019 (by Michael Dickens)
For the second time in a week, Bianca Andreescu scored a three-set victory over Angelique Kerber. Early Sunday morning, at the Miami Open presented by Itaú, the 18-year old Canadian upstart defeated the former World No. 1 from Germany, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, to advance to the fourth round.
Just six days after Andreescu triumphed against Kerber in the final of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, in which she rebounded from a break down in the final set to win her first WTA title, she came back after leading 6-4, 4-1 to garner her 31st win in all competitions this year. The third-round match, which started after 11 p.m. Saturday night, ended around 1:30 a.m. Sunday. While Andreescu showed great composure throughout, the loss in their rematch apparently left a bitter taste in the 31-year-old Kerber’s mouth. As she gave the most cursory of handshakes in defeat, courtside audio picked up the German calling Andreescu “the biggest drama queen ever.”
Downs Kerber, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 to move into the fourth round! pic.twitter.com/scmwtI5Aea
— WTA (@WTA) 24. März 2019
Whether Kerber might have been making references to Andreescu’s taking a medical time out at 4-3 in the first set for treatment on her right shoulder is subject for debate. Or, perhaps, the three-time Grand Slam champion was merely frustrated by the outcome of the match. Whatever the reason, it should be noted that Kerber held to 4-all following the medical time out. The remaining visits that Andreescu received during the two hour and nine minute match on Stadium court were for treatment and all took place within the change-over periods.
“It wasn’t easy today. Kerber player a really great match but I think I took the momentum from the final into this match,” said Andreescu, interviewed on court after the match.
“I expected a lot of good things from her but I think I was one step ahead today.”
— WTA (@WTA) 24. März 2019
Later, the No. 24 Andreescu said, “I know I was up 4-1 in the second set, but I tried to leave that past me, and I took my chances in the third.”
Andreescu lost five straight games to Kerber in the second set, but righted herself and coasted to her 10th straight victory, joining Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic as the only players with double-digit win streaks this season. She will face No. 21 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia on Monday in the round of 16.
“Nothing was really going on in my head, but I was just super tired,” Andreescu said. “I just tried to save as much energy as possible but I left it all out there today. I felt that she wasn’t playing her best tennis, so I kind of just fed off of that.”