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Andreescu sees off Mertens in US Open last 8

Andreescu sees off Mertens in US Open last 8”

The runaway train that is Bianca Andreescu's rookie season continues to roll.

The result puts another notch on Andreescu's remarkable streak of 22 straight wins in completed matches, a run that dates to late February.

"This is honestly so insane", the 15th-seeded Andreescu said after tour-high 29th win on hard courts this year.

Yes, it is real life.

It is, actually. It is also the first time a Canadian has gone this far in the U.S Open since Carling Bassett in 1984. "A year ago I was in the [US Open] qualifying round". She had also shown a tendency to make key shots in high-leverage points. Andreescu is off to her first career major semifinal.

The 25th-seeded Bertens, who had cruised into the quarter-finals without allowing more than three games in a set, was locked in from the jump and broke Andreescu in the fourth game of the opener before serving out the set in drama-free fashion.

Andreescu, now ranked No. 15 but will move into the WTA's top 10 after the tournament, started to turn her game around in the fifth game of the second set and tied 2-2.

Pinch her, go ahead.

"So I just told myself to stay clam and stick to the tactics, which I think helped in the second and third set".

"So I just try my best to figure out what's going well and what's not and just go from there".

That momentum did not carry over to the deciding set, and Andreescu was noticeably frustrated.

"Yeah, come on!" she yelled after the break.

The kill-shot eventually came.

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Croatian Vekic, seeded 23, broke for 5-4 and served for the opening set but was unable to close it out. A routine hold, and the kid from the Toronto suburbs would spend at least one more sleep in NY. Mertens then rallied from 15-40 to hold on her end and tied again at 3-3.

Canadian Andreescu - victor of the Rogers Cup and Indian Wells this year - wasted an opportunity to impose her will on the second set as she gave an early break straight back with a backhand error.

"I think it's just the experience from playing these huge events this past year", she said. I think that's the most important thing for me, and I'm sure for every athlete, you're not going to have good days every day.

Andreescu's year had already been one with very few comparables in Canadian tennis.

Yet even under somewhat straitened circumstances, after dropping that middle set, fatigue an enemy - she'd played long after midnight in her previous match - Andreescu maintained what has quickly turned into her signature composure.

Crucially, Mertens seemed to find answers for much of the strategy Andreescu was hurling at her, the grind of it appearing to drain the teenager of her characteristic energy, though she kept trying to pump herself up with grunts of "COME ON!"

That's 43 match wins on the season of highs and a few lows - two tour titles, a shoulder injured that cost her four months out of competition, retirement from the French Open and a pass on Wimbledon. That has been the defining feature of her year: victories over players who are much higher than her in the WTA rankings.

Despite Andreescu's numerous errors, Mertens's play can't be overlooked. He is 7-0 against Schwartzman.

One win away from a bid for the U.S. Open title.

She would then serve out the match.

The young Canadian kicked off the campaign with three commanding wins, followed by triumphs over Taylor Townsend and Elise Mertens to become the first teenager in the US Open semi-final since Caroline Wozniacki ten years ago!

Through the first four games, she had 11 unforced errors as Mertens took advantage of the mistakes.

Next up is Belinda Bencic, the 13th seed from Switzerland who beat defending champ Naomi Osaka in the third round.



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