Bianca Andreescu Continues Return to Top of Tennis World, Outclasses Maria Sakkari to Reach Miami Open 2021 Finals

Published 04/02/2021, 1:37 AM EDT
Mar 29, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Bianca Andreescu of Canada reaches for a forehand against Garbi–e Muguruza of Spain (not pictured) in the fourth round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


Canadian World No. 9 Bianca Andreescu defeated 23rd seed Maria Sakkari 7-6 (7), 3-6, 7- (4) at the Miami Open 2021. She also secured her place in her first WTA final after her 2019 US Open glory.

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Both the players had come through numerous unfavorable odds to reach the semifinals. While the 20-year-old Canadian had dragged every match to three sets, the Greek professional had outclassed World No. 2 Naomi Osaka in her previous round.

Most significantly, this was the first head-to-head battle of their careers, and the tennis quality the two showed was awe-inspiring.

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Bianca Andreescu vs Maria Sakkari: Set 1

Mar 31, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Maria Sakkari of Greece serves against Naomi Osaka of Japan (not pictured) in a women’s singles quarterfinal hits a forehand against in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Bianca Andreescu, 20, started the match with a clean service game. She looked fresh despite having played over nine hours in the tournament so far.

Meanwhile, Maria Sakkari also returned an almost accurate response with a hold to 15. Without a doubt, the Greek must have believed more in her game after knocking out the second seed in the last game.

In no time, her belief became reality as Maria hit an amazing over-the-hand winner and later grabbed two break points at 1-1. However, the young Canadian managed to smash them out to stay in the front in the opening set.

Following that, Bianca nailed her first chance to break and sat comfortably at 3-1. Needless to say, the quality of returns and power-hitting rallies set the mood for the late-night special in Miami.

The 20-year-old Canadian had shown undisputed grit throughout the tournament, but her performance in the opening set against the Greek was unrivalled. But while she was leading at 4-2, Bianca took a step back and helped her opponent break her serve, bringing the first set back on serve.

Consequently, Sakkari geared up her aggressive gameplay. As usual, the Canadian also kept her service game top-notch.

After 50 minutes of explosive tennis and sharing six games each, there was no separating the two players from one another. But keeping her wits about her, the Canadian saved two set points in the tiebreaker and took the opening set 7-6 (7).

Andreescu vs Sakkari: Set 2

At 1-0 in the second set, Sakkari missed the opportunity to break her opponent. This cost her heavily as Bianca did the needful and speeded up her journey towards the final.

However, the match was far from over as the Greek recovered her second set loss to stay alive at 3-3. She wanted the seat in the final as much as the Canadian did.

The 25-year-old Greek got the much-needed late break and served for the second set at 4-5. And she completed half her comeback, winning five straight games and eventually the set 3-6 in 42 minutes.

Andreescu vs Sakkari: The final set

It was the fourth consecutive three-setter match for the Canadian and also 12:40 am in Miami. Bianca aimed to regain the lost rhythm in the decider set but had to save two break points to hold her first serve.

Mar 31, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Bianca Andreescu of Canada hits a backhand against Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain (not pictured) in a women’s singles quarterfinal in Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Comparatively, Sakkari was more poised, but she also had to save a breakpoint to level the games at 1-1. Following that, the Canadian delivered a classic drop shot but gave away a big break to the Greek.

Afterward, it was clear that Sakkari wasn’t going to let go away the lead. She successfully held Bianca away and was two games away from reaching her maiden Masters 1000 final.

Turning the tables around, the Canadian again pulled herself up from the edge of the rope, making the decider level at 4-4. Moreover, she held both her nerves and service game, making Sakkari serve to stay alive in the match.

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Giving a final twist to the match, both broke one other to enforce a tiebreaker for a ticket to the finale. Bianca again came through in the clutch moment with her formidable returns and won the match 7-6 (7), 3-6, 7- (4).

Now, she will meet the defending champion and World No. 1, Ashleigh Barty, in the final. Having said that, it is fair to assume that fans might run out of popcorn at the Miami Open 2021 final.

Who do you think will lift the trophy, Barty or Andreescu?

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Purav Joshi

662 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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