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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday August 31, 2021

 
Bianca Andreescu

Bianca Andreescu remained undefeated at the US Open by edging Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic in three tight sets.

Photo Source: Gettyu

Bianca Andreescu returned to the scene of her greatest triumph and produced a thrilling three-set victory over Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic to reach the second round at the US Open.

Tennis Express

The Canadian, who stormed to her maiden major title in 2019 and became the first player to win the US Open on her main draw debut, drew on her resilience and grit to edge Golubic 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours and 49 minutes, and she did it by combining the trademark Andreescu belief with a more aggressive game plan.

Andreescu played a more linear, power-based baseline game, eschewing her variety and using her power to push her opponent back. It was interesting to see Golubic be the player using more variety and trajectory in her shots, and afterwards the Canadian explained that she has been trying to embrace a more aggressive mindset after hooking up with coach Sven Groeneveld, the former coach of Maria Sharapova, this summer.


"Over the past couple of months I really had to figure out like what works best for me and what doesn't, and I've been feeling like I've been too caught up in my head with different things and I told myself let's just keep it simple,” she said. “Crosscourt, serve, body, T, and just push her back and when I have the opportunity, come to the net. That's really what it was because I didn't want to make it difficult for myself, just because lack of matches, confidence and whatnot, I think by doing that it's definitely going to build up to way more."

Andreescu and Golubic went at each other in a nip-and-tuck battle that featured three very close sets. The Canadian took the first by snagging the final four games after trailing 5-3. Golubic countered by going unbroken in the middle set and taking the final two games to win it, 6-4.

In the third set, Golubic looked to be heading for the upset, leading 4-2, but she couldn’t hang on. There was simply too much belief and too much firepower on Andreescu’s side of the court. The 21-year-old told reporters that there’s something special about returning to the US Open, especially after missing 2020 due to injury.

"I haven't had a lot of matches, but I don't know I feel very comfortable playing on this court and I'm able to go back to the feeling that I had in 2019, that confidence a little bit, more than other tournaments maybe, I don't know, if it's because of the court, the tournament, all of that,” she said. “And I channeled a lot of it in the match and honestly it was super, super close, it really came down to a couple of points and it was just who fought the hardest, honestly, it could have went both ways.”

Andreescu said she wasn’t expecting to have to dig so deep this early in the tournament, but she’s glad she had the goods to deliver.

"To be honest I didn't feel like it would come so soon in the tournament, but she gave me no choice, really, I had to dig deep, I had to fight, I had to bring back that old Bianca in a way, something that I haven't really had this past year, and I'm just super happy,” she said.

It appears that Andreescu is planning to user her power more than ever, and she believes it will help her simplify things in her head so she can avoid second-guessing herself. For now, it appears to be working.

"Whenever I feel that I'm stepping away from my game plan, or I'm thinking too much, or I'm nervous, emotions are running through my head, through my body and whatnot, I always want to go back to keeping it simple,” she said. “That's my goal, I don't want to complicate myself, and I feel like if I have that focus, on three, four things, then that's what's really going to help me and I think that's helped me a lot in this match, and yes, those clean winners, obviously like I want to stay aggressive. I feel like other points I was too far back and kind of letting her dictate play, because whenever she would she would win the point, so I really had to step up and dictate right from the start."

Andreescu, who entered the US Open having lost six of her last eight matches, says she felt she has been on the defensive too often this season.

"I think it's a little bit of that but also I want to kind of improve my offense game, because I feel like i haven't been having that this year, I felt like I was a lot on defense and I didn't feel confident going into the court,” she said. “With the help of Sven, we've been working a lot on that, a lot of hard hitting and just letting go of my shots and feeling good when I do, because I do, like this match really proved that and I'm super happy, that what we've been working on in practice is showing in a match, and that's the most satisfying thing, and I just want to continue with that and for sure, if I play different players I'll have to maybe change the rhythm a little bit more than with Viktorija, but it really depends."

Andreescu, who now carries and impressive 26-10 lifetime record in three-setters will face American Lauren Davis in the second round at the US Open.

 

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