MIAMI — Faced with adversity Sunday, Canada's Bianca Andreescu found a way to persevere.
It wasn't easy, but the Mississauga, Ont., product gritted out a 7-6 (4), 6-7 (2), 6-4 third-round win over American Amanda Anisimova at the Miami Open.
Andreescu struggled in the second set, giving up two breaks, but hung on and won 83 per cent of her service points in the third set to capture a victory in a match that lasted two hours 44 minutes.
“I know that (my game) can be better but I’m trying to find ways to push through on my off days. And I think I’m doing that well," she said.
"I think that’s what makes a really good player and I’m trying to be that really good player like I was in 2019. And I did that today. I just want to fight and give it my all and the rest will come.”
The 28th-seeded Anisimova saved 14 of 17 break points against Andreescu. The American had only two break-point chances, but converted on both.
Anisimova was a tough opponent, Andreescu said.
“She’s super erratic. She slaps every ball but she slaps very well," she said. "She’s a really good player. It was tough. I was getting to a lot of balls I didn’t even think I could get to. But that just shows that all the preparation I’m putting in is paying off.”
The eighth-seeded Andreescu, 20, will face No. 12 seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the round of 16 on Monday night. Andreescu won the only previous match between the two, beating Muguruza en route to her first career WTA Tour title in Indian Wells, Calif., in 2019.
“I have to be on my A-game tomorrow because I know Muguruza’s tough to play," the Canadian said.
Andreescu will likely have some support in the stands. Her parents and dog, Coco, were among the limited fans in attendance on Sunday.
Hearing their support on the court was "incredible," Andreescu said.
Andreescu fought off two set points in the first set of her opening match in Miami, rallying to beat Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic 7-6 (5), 6-2.
The Canadian, who had a first-round bye, returned from a 16-month layoff following a knee injury in February at the Australian Open, losing in the second round.
Andreescu followed that up by reaching the semifinals of an event in Melbourne for players eliminated early from the Australian Open, but a leg injury suffered there kept her out until Miami.
Andreescu is trying to recapture the form of her breakthrough 2019 season when she won three tournaments, including the U.S. Open.
Earlier on Sunday, Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime lost 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) to American John Isner in a third-round match in Miami.
Auger-Aliassime, from Montreal, also lost to Isner in two tiebreaks in the semifinals of the Miami Open the last time the ATP Masters 1000 event was held in 2019.
Neither player had a break-point opportunity Sunday with both Auger-Aliassime and Isner winning more than 80 per cent of points when they got their first serve in.
The 11th-seeded Auger-Aliassime lost his third straight tiebreak against the 18th-seeded Isner in the first set on Sunday. The Canadian missed an easy overhead smash on his first service point, giving the hard-serving Isner the advantage he needed to finish it off.
Isner took the final point off Auger-Aliassime's serve after a long rally to finish off the match.
The six-foot-10 Isner has won all 11 of his tiebreaks in Miami.
Isner won the Miami title in 2018 and was a finalist in 2019.
No. 6 seed Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., and No. 12 seed Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., are scheduled to play third-round men's matches Monday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 28, 2021.
The Canadian Press