Bianca the Battler: Andreescu saves match point to win opener in Miami
Canadian teen BiancaAndreescu has posted yet another dramatic victory.
In her first match since an improbable run to the BNPParibas Open title on Sunday, the 18-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., rallied for a 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2 win over Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania.
Andreescu was trailing 5-1 in the second set before winning five straight games — fighting off a match point in the process — and then dominating the tiebreak.
Andreescu broke Begu in the first game of the third set and held on from there.
The same sort of resilience was on display in her last two matches at Indian Wells — three-set upsets over ElinaSvitolina and Angelique Kerber.
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Andreescu, now ranked 24th in the world, also beat the 70th-ranked Begu in the first round at Indian Wells.
Begu broke Andreescu in the first game of Thursday's match and appeared to be headed to a convincing victory.
It would have been the Canadian's first straight-set loss in 32 matches this season. Andreescu is now 29-3 on the campaign.
The match was supposed to be played on Wednesday night on centre court, but was postponed because of rain and moved to a smaller court Thursday. Florida fans took notice of Andreescu's rise, packing the stands at the court.
In the second set, Andreescu's frustration showed during a chat with coach Sylvain Bruneau.
"Every time I try to do the right thing, it never goes my way," Andreescu said.
Like he did throughout the Indian Wells event, Bruneau stressed the positives and encouraged Andreescu.
Andreescu had her serve broken right after that, but then went on her roll.
The Canadian had plenty of success with her drop shot during the second-half comeback, making the Romanian run and changing the momentum.
Andreescu let out a huge roar after winning the second-set tiebreaker.
Andreescu will face No. 32 seed Sofia Kenin of the United States in the second round.
Auger-Aliassime rallies to win
On the men's side, Canadian qualifier Felix Auger-Aliassime rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 win over fellow qualifier Casper Ruud of Norway in a first-round match.
The 18-year-old from Montreal notched six breaks after a slow start and won 78 per cent of his points on first serve, as compared to just 62 per cent for Ruud.
Auger-Aliassime has improved his ranking to 57th in the world after a string of strong results in recent weeks, but still had to qualify because his ranking wasn't high enough at the entry deadline.
The Canadian will face Marton Fucsovics of Hungary in the second round.
Auger-Aliassime will be joined in the second round by No. 12 seed Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., and No. 20 seed Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., who received first-round byes.