Published: Tue, March 19, 2019
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Bianca Andreescu rockets to No

Bianca Andreescu rockets to No

"This past week, it's been a dream come true playing in front of these unbelievable crowds", Andreescu said in a courtside interview after putting her name alongside Serena Williams who reached and won the 1999 final at 17.

Three-time grand slam champion Kerber will face Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu in her first Premier decider on Sunday.

Despite battling cramps for most of the tournament, Andreescu found a way to keep herself in all matches, partly due to her ability to focus her mind elsewhere.

Against Svitolina, she survived two hours and 12 minutes of rollercoaster tennis to prevail.

What will likely hold Andreescu in good stead during those inevitable periods of struggle is her strong temperament. I know this. I was expecting a tough match.

But inexperience caught up with her in the second and much of the third. Then, when she somehow recovered to break twice and serve for the match, she was broken again - through an astoundingly poor drop shot, no less.

And also, just everything that has happened throughout the last couple of years, I remember I was in such a bad spot a year ago and now I'm like you said I'm number 24 in the world. When you're confident, you can really just trust your instincts and you don't have to think about it at all.

"I was trying to play concentrated, and going for it when I had the chance. It's insane", Andreescu said after the final.

Bencic, a former world number seven whose ranking slumped as injuries stalled her career, showed no sign of a let-down after her fourth-round victory over world number one and defending champion Naomi Osaka. He just needed to convince her that she had the fight, that she had the strength, that she had to go for every point.

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Ferrari have tried to change the narrative but Mercedes have inked their name in the record books each time. At this point, we are all flat out trying to understand what happened in the session.

"I wouldn't believe I win today again", Bencic said.

Not being 100 percent fit is nothing new for Andreescu who missed six months in 2016 with stress fractures in her foot and was sidelined past year with back problems.

"She did a good job then at the end, especially the last three games", Kerber said.

"I think that can get better", Raonic said.

Did she really think she could get away with uttering the "F" word on global television?

Andreescu, just 18, had finished past year ranked near No. 200 in the world but stepped up her approach in the offseason by getting healthy and focusing on her mental game.

Midway through their chat, Andreescu extended the fingers on her left hand, tossed her energy drink in her bag and made the emphatic "I want this so bad!" declaration.

The third set was tight, and Bencic was not helped by a dip in her serving level.

Andreescu: It's definitely easier on the body and the mental aspect of things, that I won't have to play qualifying.

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