Andreescu and Bencic score effective wins over Minnen and Pegula to reach US Open in week two
Number 6 seed Bianca Andreescu remains unbeaten in the US Open main draw. The 2019 champion beat lucky loser Greet Minnen 6-1, 6-2 in just 67 minutes to reach the fourth round.
This is the second time Andreescu has reached week two of a major. She joins her compatriot Leylah Fernandez in the round of 16, marking the first time that two Canadians have reached this stage of the US Open.
Andreescu, who did not compete in Flushing Meadows last year, has now won all 10 US Open main draw games she has played. His only losses in the tournament came in the first round of qualifying in 2017, against Liu Fangzhou and in 2018, against Olga Danilovic.
The 21-year-old impressed with the brutal efficiency of her victory over Minnen, who was making her third round debut in a Slam. Andreescu is renowned for playing three sets – since the start of its 2019 breakthrough season, 36 of its 72 completed games have gone to a decider. But after triumphing in a first-round thriller over Wimbledon quarter-finalist Viktorija Golubic, Andreescu has now won back-to-back matches in straight sets.
Statistics Corner: Andreescu ran out of the gates, hitting three authoritative winners in Game 1, and barely released. In total, she shot 21 winners out of 11 unforced errors, her backhand producing the most breathtaking shots.
In contrast, Minnen disclosed 22 unforced errors, 14 of which came from a forehand Andreescu repeatedly targeted with both power and a vicious slice. The 17 Belgian winners were not enough to counter.
However, a major, career-best run will see Minnen make his long-awaited Top 100 debut. The 24-year-old first reached the Top 110 in December 2019, but is currently still ranked No. 104 in the world. .
What’s next for Andreescu: Andreescu’s first consecutive trio of wins since her run to the Miami Finals in March pitted No.17 seed Maria Sakkari, who defeated No.10 seed Petra Kvitova in straight sets. She triumphed over Sakkari 7-6 (7), 3-6, 7-6 (4) in the Miami semifinals this year.
Bencic maintains control of Pegula to do second week
No.11 seed Belinda Bencic had not lost a set to No.23 seed Jessica Pegula in two previous encounters, and Switzerland maintained that record to beat the American 6-2, 6- 4 in one hour and 13 minutes.
The result puts Bencic in week two of the US Open for the third time, following a quarter-final at age 17 on his tournament debut in 2014 and a semi-final in 2019, his last appearance here. It is the only major to date that the Swiss have passed the fourth round.
Bencic’s 6-3, 6-3 victory over Pegula in the first round of the Tokyo Olympics in July launched a race to her greatest career success to date, and the gold medalist was once again extremely confident on the national soil of Pegula.
Ideal match: The match issues were obvious from the start. Pegula’s flat strike couldn’t have played better in Bencic’s hands: entering the 24-year-old’s ideal strike zone, she was able to take the ball as soon as she needed and redirect it almost at will.
Bencic’s service was also in song. Pegula was largely unable to read it, and while a brief forehand gap allowed the Australian Open quarter-finalist to beat Bencic once in the first set, that would be the extent of his impact on return. Although Bencic only counted four aces, a total of 22 serves were not returned. That included three points in a row to serve the game, a nice way to ignore three missing match points on Pegula’s serve in the previous game – the first of which was a pass that missed the line by a few millimeters.
What’s next for Bencic: A slightly less well-suited clash: either No.7 seed Iga Swiatek, who beat Bencic 6-2, 6-2 in Adelaide’s final in February, or No.28 seed Anett Kontaveit , who dominated her 6-0, 6-1 in the third round of the 2020 Australian Open.