Canada's Bianca Andreescu Finds Winning Form in 2023 French Open
At just 19, Bianca Andreescu reached the pinnacle of tennis in 2019 when she dropped Serena Williams in a straight-set victory to claim the U.S. Open.
Despite reaching the No. 4 ranking and plenty of early promise in her career, before this French Open, it marked the only time she advanced past the second round of a grand slam.
But that changed on Thursday with Andreescu defeating Emma Navarro (6-1, 6-4) to set up a third-round matchup with No. 66 Lesia Tsurenko on Saturday. Tennis betting sites are taking notice.
Bianca Andreescu Gaining Form
The recent run of form for Andreescu is somewhat surprising, considering she played just two clay tournaments in preparation for the French Open and lost both, including a 6-0, 6-1 beatdown to Marketa Vondrousova. It also didn’t look good in the French Open first-round matchup against Victoria Azarenka. Andreescu was down a set and a break before rallying for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory.
“I felt like I started to become very passive and she was just hitting winner after winner so I told myself that if I want to even have a close match I really have to put pressure and I started taking the ball earlier,” Andreescu said. “My serve started to become a weapon and I think that really helped.”
In the past, Andreescu has battled mental health issues and numerous injuries. In Miami during March, she took a hard fall that led to two torn ankle ligaments which led to her slow start to the clay season.
Andreescu has overcome her form issues by using something her family member said as a source of inspiration when things get difficult for her during a match.
“I’m going to be honest,” she said. “I started thinking about my grandmother because she’s getting old, and I’m very close to her. She said — in Romanian, she doesn’t speak English — ‘Bianca, I really want to watch you win another major.’ ”
Andreescu noted her grandma’s message was in the back of her head when she was down a set and a break to Azarenka. From that point on, Andreescu won 11 of the next 15 games.
"I started to get emotional, too,” Andreescu said. “At that point, something just came out of me, and I started playing better.
“The last few weeks haven't been easy for me, just like recovering from my injury and all that stuff. I'm still not 100 percent. I still get pain here and there. I just have to push through it and not think that it's bad pain. My fighting spirit is back, so that feels nice.”
Matchup with IGA Swiatek Possible
If Andreescu defeats Tsurenko and the heavily favoured No. 1 Iga Swiatek tops Wang Xiyu, a showdown between Andreescu and Swiatek will take place in the fourth round. Swiatek is the defending and two-time champion at the French Open and has a 23-2 career record at Roland Garros.
In addition to sporting a 37-1 record in grand slams against players ranked higher than No. 5, Swiatek also hotels a 2-0 record in the head-to-head matchup with Andreescu.
Andreescu Betting Odds for French Open
At FanDuel Sportsbook, Andreesu is a moneyline favourite against Tsurenko at 1.70 with Tsurenko at 2.16.
Even with advancing to the third round, Andreescu is still considered a longshot to win the French Open, mostly because of how the draw sets up and a likely pending matchup with Swiatek.
FanDuel Sportsbook has Andreescu at 101.00 to win the French Open.
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