“A Good Ice-Breaker”: Bianca Andreescu Reflects on Winning Her Title-Defense Opener at National Bank Open 2021

Published 08/10/2021, 11:41 PM EDT
Aug 10, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Bianca Andreescu of Canada reacts after winning a point against Harriet Dart of Great Britain (not pictured) during second round play at Stade IGA. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports.


The defending champion and home-favorite, Bianca Andreescu, began her National Bank Open 2021 campaign against World No.152 Harriet Dart. Fortunately, she survived the three-set battle, closing the match 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

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Coming into the tournament as defending champion and second seed, the pressure was high for Andreescu. However, the crowd gave her all the support to get her going from a break down in the third set.

“I heard the love, I felt the love, and it’s super awesome to be back,” Andreescu said during the on-court interview. “For sure, it was definitely a good ice-breaker I had a lot going on. I am going to practice tomorrow and bounce back for the next match. Hopefully, I get it done in two sets,” she added.

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Although she hopes to finish it in straight sets in the last 16, Andreescu has a thing for three-setters. “I had to do it for the crowd. It was super entertaining,” the Canadian concluded.

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Bianca Andreescu’s confident start against Harriet Dart

Playing on home turf has its perks, and Andreescu made the most of them. Without any doubt, she came out on the court against Dart as a confident defending champion. (She won the Canadian Open in 2019; the tournament got canceled last year due to the coronavirus outbreak).

Aug 10, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Bianca Andreescu of Canada hits a shot against Harriet Dart of Great Britain (not pictured) during second round play at Stade IGA. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports.

Although she had won no tournament in two years, the 21-year-old knew the court well. Hence, Andreescu immediately won a break against Dart.

Following that, the young Canadian immediately gave away her lead, but got the fire started in her. Subsequently, Andreescu did not let the British professional hold any service game, taking the opening set 6-1 in mere 36 minutes.

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Andreescu and Dart go the distance at the National Bank Open 2021

Even though it seemed that it was all over for Dart, the battle had only begun for her. From the start of the second set, the Englishwoman found her rhythm on serve and took the control of the match.

Aug 10, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Harriet Dart of Great Britain serves against Bianca Andreescu of Canada (not pictured) during second round play at Stade IGA. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports.

At 1-2, Dart got the much-need break to uplift her confidence to stay in the match. Though Andreescu attempted to recover, the British professional played intelligently to outfox her opponent.

At 3-5, the 2019 US Open champion saved two set points, but Dart got third time lucky. She won the second set 3-6.

Andreescu vs Dart: The deciding set

It all came down to the final set in the second-round blockbuster contest between Andreescu and Dart. Both the players gave their hearts out to convert this into a win.

Aug 10, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Bianca Andreescu of Canada reacts after losing a point against Harriet Dart of Great Britain (not pictured) during second round play at Stade IGA. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports.

At 1-1, the Canadian lost her serve; however, she broke back in the next game. From then on, both Andreescu and Dart gave no easy points away.

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Remarkably, the second seed saved yet another break point and then got the break on her opponent’s serve. From a break down, Andreescu made a stellar comeback to serve out the match 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

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As per the draw, she will next face the winner between Ons Jabeur and Daria Kasatkina. Do you think she will go on to defend her Canadian Open title?

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Purav Joshi

1118 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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