Canadian teen Bianca Andreescu reaches final at ASB Classic
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, January 5, 2019 7:28AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, January 5, 2019 4:17PM EST
AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu is heading to her first WTA Tour event final.
The 18-year-old cruised past 28th-ranked Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan on Saturday 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals at the ASB Classic. Andreescu started the week ranked No. 152 in the world but has knocked out former world No. 1s Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams at the ASB Classic with back-to-back upsets.
"I guess Auckland just brings the best out of me," said Andreescu, who needed only 81 minutes to beat Su-Wei. "I don't know what's going on really.
"I think it's really important to me to just stay in the present moment and I think I've been doing that this whole week and I'm beyond grateful right now."
The 37-year-old Williams, who turned pro six years before Andreescu was born, is ranked 39th in the world. Wozniacki, meanwhile, is the world No. 3 and the reigning Australian Open champion.
The five-foot-five Andreescu relies less on a power serve and more on a finesse game, playing close to the net. Starting off the new tennis season, Andreescu has made diversifying her game a priority.
"This week I've been playing a lot of different types of game styles," said Andreescu. "I think I prepared very well before this match. I knew that she's a very tricky opponent, I just tried to stay patient and aggressive, which helped me win today."
Tennis Canada president and CEO Michael Downey believes that Andreescu's diverse game confounded her opponents in Auckland.
"Her drop shots were perfection, and she did it right from the first game, I think the first point she won on a drop shot," said Downey. "She has unbelievable power, this is a very very strong, powerful young woman, but she has a finesse game as well.
"That was something she worked on a lot in the off-season, to bring that diversity to another level."
The Mississauga, Ont., native will face Julia Goerges in the final after the German toppled Slovakia's Viktoria Kuzmova 6-1 7-6(6) in the other semi.
Goerges is the defending champion and ousted Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que., earlier in the week on her way back to the championship match. She's ranked 14th in the world.
"There's a book on Bianca now. The more matches you play, the more book is written about your type of game," said Downey. "Bianca's going to be in tough tonight with Goerges, but I think she's going in there with not much to lose.
"At the end of the day, win or lose, she has captivated the world of tennis and is so deserving of the accolades."
The US$250,000 WTA Tour event is a warmup for the first Grand Slam of the season. Andreescu had to earn her way into the ASB Classic by winning the qualifiers.
With files from the Associated Press