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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday June 13, 2022

Bianca Andreescu lacks experience on the grass, but she doesn’t lack enthusiasm.

The 21-year-old fought valiantly on Monday in Berlin, and emerged victorious over Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Andreescu’s second tour-level grass-court triumph (2-4 lifetime) sets a second-round clash with another Czech – Karolina Pliskova.

Tennis Express

Both Andreescu and Pliskova are looking to find some form as they begin their grass-court season. Pliskova gamely rallied to take out 37-year-old Kaia Kanepi on Monday, 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-0.

After dropping a first set tiebreak, the Czech ran the table for the rest of the match, drilling 17 aces and saving all eight break points she faced to improve to 4-0 against the Estonian.

Pliskova and Andreescu split their two previous meetings in 2019, both on hard court.

It hasn’t been a season to remember for the former World No.1. Pliskova’s season started late due to a hand injury from a training session. Since her 2022 debut at Indian Wells in March, she is 7-8. More recently, the World No.7 has won five of seven matches, her best performance a semifinal on the Strasbourg clay.

Compared to Andreescu (ranked 69), the Czech is a much more storied competitor on grass. Pliskova was a runner-up last year at Wimbledon, and owns a 44-20 lifetime on the surface with three titles.

As mentioned, Andreescu is 2-4 on grass – the Canadian has never defeated a Top-50 player on the surface.

She took several falls during her win over Siniakova, her explosive movement just a tad too forceful for the slippery grass. Her trademark grit was present, and it helped her seal off an extremely close contest with the former World No.31 (63 as of today).

Halep Pushes Past Tsurenko in Birmingham

Former Wimbledon champion Simona Halep is hoping for a big grass season after not meeting expectations on the clay, where she was a second-round casualty at Roland-Garros last month.

Today she got off on the right foot with a dominant 6-1, 6-4 win over Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko on the grass at Birmingham.

Second-seeded Halep will face Great Britain’s Harriet Dart in the second round. Dart rumbled past Colombia’s Camila Osorio, 6-2, 6-0 on Monday.

Dart scored some nice wins last week in Nottingham, en route to her first career quarterfinal. She defeated Donna Vekic and Camila Giorgi before falling to Alison Riske in three sets.

Monday was a big day for the second-seeded Romanian as it was her first match on grass since she claimed the 2019 Wimbledon crown. Wimbledon was cancelled in 2020; last season a calf injury kept the Romanian away from SW19.

Halep saved seven of nine break points and won 67 percent of her second-serve return points to ease past the 116-ranked Tsurenko. Halep is 37-15 lifetime on grass.

In their only previous meeting, in 2020, Halep defeated Dart at the Australian Open, 6-2, 6-4.


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