WTA US Open: Bianca Andreescu survives Elise Mertens to set Bencic clash

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WTA US Open: Bianca Andreescu survives Elise Mertens to set Bencic clash

You don't often see a teenager and Grand Slam debutant as the favorite for the title but Bianca Andreescu has been precisely that at this year's US Open, arriving in New York as one of the players to beat after claiming the title in Toronto.

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!

Bianca has also secured the place in the top-10 for the first time in a career after a hard-fought 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Elise Mertens in two hours and two minutes. The Belgian toppled all four rivals before this clash in just over four and a half hours, giving her best against Andreescu as well but finishing on the losing side in her second Grand Slam quarter-final.

Bianca made the difference with her first serve, getting broken twice from six chances offered to Elise and having the opportunity to seal the deal much earlier, converting only four from 16 break chances after taking 42% of the points behind Mertens' serve.

The Canadian had the upper hand with 40 winners and 33 unforced errors, delivering much better tennis in the deciding set to book the spot in the semi-final where she will face Belinda Bencic. The Belgian saved a couple of break points in the first game and broke Bianca in game four to open a 3-1 lead.

Three good holds pushed Elise towards a 6-3 set, closing the opener with an ace in game nine after 38 minutes. They traded breaks early in the second set and this time it was Andreescu who had the upper hand on the return, breaking at love in game six after a powerful return and clinching the set with a forehand winner at 5-2 to gain the momentum ahead of the decider.

Dropping just six points behind the initial shot there, Bianca was the favorite to cross the finish line first and she did that after converting the seventh break point overall in the eighth game with a deep return that Elise couldn't control and moving over the top with three winners in the next game to secure the spot in the last four.