Washington Open: Bianca Andreescu becomes first 21st century-born player to defeat top-20 rival

Washington: Canadian 17-year-old Bianca Andreescu made tennis history on Thursday, becoming the first WTA player born in the 21st Century to defeat a top-20 rival by downing France's 13th-ranked Kristina Mladenovic.

Andreescu's 6-2, 6-3 triumph to reach the WTA Citi Open quarter-finals was her second career tour triumph and second of the week after losing her first top-level match in the first round at Wimbledon last month.

Jul 31, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Bianca Andreescu of Canada hits a backhand against Camila Giorgi of Italy (not pictured) on day one of the Citi Open at Fitzgerald Tennis Center. Andreescu won 5-7, 6-3, 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports - RTS19WPQ

Bianca Andreescu during her match against Camila Giorgi of at the Washington Open. Reuters

"I didn't think I actually could win the match," Andreescu said of dispatching Mladenovic. "But I went out there with the right attitude and played my best tennis.

"My dream is to create history, which I did today. This is the beginning."

Andreescu was also given a wildcard into her hometown event next week at Toronto after Russian star Maria Sharapova withdrew with a sore right forearm.

"It's amazing for me but it's too bad for her," Andreescu said. "But that's life."

Andreescu's life changed when she won three matches to qualify for Wimbledon, even though she lost 6-4, 6-3 to Slovakia's Kristina Kucova in her opening match.

"Playing Wimbledon was my dream come true," she said. "I worked really hard to get there. I'm proud of myself."

After what she called the biggest victory of her career on Thursday, Andreescu booked a last-eight match Friday on the Washington hard courts against Germany's Andrea Petkovic.

"I've worked very hard to get where I am right now. It feels really amazing," said Andreescu.

"My level is really good now. I'm getting more confidence for my next match. For sure I'm going to play my best tennis and see what happens.

"Going into this tournament, I got the wildcard and I wanted to make everything out of it available. I think I have."

Andreescu will rise from her world number 167 ranking this week, surpassing her career best of 156 from last month.

"Of course I want to be No 1 in the world," she said. "I want to win every tournament I'm in and right now I think I might have a chance."

Andreescu could have a chance at a top-10 shocker if she reaches the final with World No 2 Simona Halep in the other half of the bracket.

The Romanian star was one of the players Andreescu said she admired most, along with a June inductee into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Belgium's Kim Clijsters.

"Kim Clijsters is one player I look up to, and Simona Halep, I like how she plays," Andreescu said.


Published Date: Aug 04, 2017 11:46 am | Updated Date: Aug 04, 2017 11:46 am


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