Miami Open: Bianca Andreescu wins a marathon semifinal against Maria Sakkari

The Canadian edges past the Greek star to set up a Miami final encounter with Ash Barty

Bianca Andreescu file photo, Image credit: Facebook/Bianca Andreescu

In a high-octane semifinal, Bianca Andreescu produced regular comebacks to prevail over a resilient Maria Sakkari 7-6, 3-6, 7-6 to reach the Miami Open final. The Canadian star has set up a mouth-watering final against World No.1 Ash Barty. The 2019 US Open champion, Andreescu, had to dig deep to secure the victory. She survived two set points in the first set before producing a fightback from 4-2 down in the third set to reach the final.

“Against her, I had no choice but to run for everything that I could and just fight until the end because that’s what she was doing,” Andreescu said on-court after the match. “She was really taking control of the points a lot of the times. It was really tough, I’m not going to lie.”

The roller-coaster battle started with Andreescu letting a 4-1 lead slip away in the first set and faced two set points in the tie-breaker. She survived them both before sealing the first set just after an hour. “My whole game plan was to try and do that because I knew she was going to do that, and it could’ve been either of us winning. I’m just super happy that I pulled through,” she added.

End-to-end battle

Andreescu gained a 3-1 lead in the second set before the Greek player flipped the script and won five straight games to bag the set. The action-packed final set saw Sakkari build a 4-2 lead. Andreescu fought back and eventually closed out the game in the tie-breaker. “I have a lot of experience in these tough three-setters and digging through and finding a way,” Andreescu told reporters.

“Sometimes I literally feel like I’m an octopus out there running side to side, I feel like I have eight legs. It’s insane. Sometimes I don’t even know how I get to some shots. But it’s that fighting spirit I have always had in me, never giving up.”

Speaking about her final with Ash Barty, Andreescu said, “Her being No.1 and her doing really, really well. Her game style, as well. It’s something I have never really experienced.”

“I love a challenge, and I know she’s going to challenge me on Saturday, so it’s a mixture of everything. I know it’s going to be really tough. She’s playing great tennis, and I hope I can be on my A-game.”

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