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

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: The difficulty with stop signs

One wouldn’t think that stopping at a stop sign would be such a problem for drivers.

Duncan Christian hoops teams back in action with a busy month

Senior boys and girls play league and tournament games

Robert Barron column: Immigrants in the Cowichan Valley are an asset

If they are successful, the family would be a great addition to the Valley

Cowichan Coffee Time: Cheque presentations and a new president

• South Cowichan Healthcare Auxiliary presented a cheque in the amount of… Continue reading

Parkside Academy future unclear as district ponders future of Somenos school site

Parkside had been leasing the site for the last five years

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Kobe Bryant killed in California helicopter crash: reports

NBA star was reportedly in his private helicopter at the time of the crash

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Most Read