“Tough Draw”: Martina Navratilova Defends Bianca Andreescu After Australian Open 2021 Exit

Published 02/09/2021, 11:11 PM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 10, 2021 Canada’s Bianca Andreescu in action during her second round match against Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


In a massive early upset in the women’s draw, Bianca Andreescu lost her match 3-6 2-6 against Hsieh Su-wei. It was a surprisingly quick game that saw the World #8 crumble at the hands of the World #71. 

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Plagued by injuries and marred by the pandemic, the Canadian star had it tough after winning her first Grand Slam in 2019 (US Open).

She was out of competitive Tennis for almost 15 months before making a comeback for the Australian Open 2021. The rust that settled on her over the course of her long hiatus was out for everyone to see and cost her an opportunity to stake a claim for the Happy Slam.

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Was there any positive in the loss of Bianca Andreescu against Su-wei?

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 10, 2021 Canada’s Bianca Andreescu during her second round match against Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

The 20-YO Canadian had a rough start to her 2nd round. She lost a break on her serve to begin the match and never really regained control in that first set. She was 1-5 down against the much more experienced 35-YO who showed tremendous variety in her game.

In a studio interview later, the 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova still had praises to sing in favor of Andreescu.

She expressed, “She’s healthy, she’s back again. So, I’m sure we’ll be seeing her soon and nice to see her. But yeah, this is just a tough draw.”

Perhaps Bianca could’ve performed better against an opponent that was not as aggressive as Su. The women’s tennis legend further added, “She needed somebody that hits the ball to her, not that spreads the court, and that doesn’t give her any pace.

“She’s just, you know, too much errors, not enough match play, that’s all there is. Couldn’t play by instinct, had to try to figure it out and couldn’t do it.”

What positives can the rising star take from the Australian Open 2021?

She will definitely remember the first game against Mihaela Buzarnescu, against whom she survived a scare by taking the decisive set.

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Her Instagram post after that game showed just how relieved she was to win that first match. In that game, she looked to be in the driver’s seat as far as serving was concerned; something that she was unable to lock down in her 2nd round clash.

Hsieh was certainly a tougher opponent with her deeper forehands and the ability to hit cross-courts with precision. Andreescu looked tired throughout the match; however, she did steal points whenever she showed some grit.

If not for the 25 unforced errors, she could’ve given a tougher challenge to the Chinese Taipei player. So she can take this as a positive that she showed signs of a strong comeback after such a long duration of inactivity. Also, many seeded women on the tour are struggling and hence it is understandable why Bianca lost this early.

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DIVE DEEPER

“Her Light Burns Brightly”: Serena Williams Lavishes Praise on Bianca Andreescu

5 months ago

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Sourabh Singh

1274 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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