It was two Canadian women paired up on their home turf that made the match so appealing. It was Eugenie Bouchard, giving it all, despite the results against the comeback Canadian teen Bianca Andreescu. The fight was difficult but Andreescu came through in a three-set victory 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Bouchard played well, at points better than she's played before but the match was basically on the teen's shoulder as it was the reason for her long absence on the competitive court. Overplay, overwork, but an abundance of wins pushed Andreescu to shoulder ailments back in March during the third round of a Miami Open match.
It was a tear in the rotator cuff of the right shoulder causing her discomfort at Indian Wells and then the Miami Open. She rest, rehabbed in time for the French Open but could only go one round before withdrawing. "I'm disappointed to announce my withdrawal from Roland Garros.
Tough moments for me but after discussing with my coaches...and doctors...it was the safest decision to make..." she sadly apologized on social media. Months later at the Rogers Cup, this was Andreescu's goal to play in her home country.
She would rest, get treatment and practice hoping to make a great performance her first time playing since May. The first round, things didn't go so well for the teen as Bouchard came on aggressive having her own ideas of making it big on home court.
She played well, in fact better than in previous tournaments. She found her marks, Played basic tennis and kept Andreescu moving back and forth. Bouchard won the opening set without much difficulty. The Canadian teen fought back though and she corrected errors in the second set, had more patience and lead 2-0.
She may not have had perfect positioning for many shots but she got to them and put them away for victories. Andreescu clearly intended to prove her skill was back and won 6-1 the second set. But the decider could hgonewent either way.
The teen took the match by storm winning in three sets. The proof of her consistency would show in her second round with Russia's Daria Kasatkina. Andreescu would lead 3 to 1 at the top of the first set but the Russian started getting aggressive levelling the games and made a surging lead of 6 to 5 then winning the set from the teen.
Points were orchestrated well and it was obvious that Andreescu wouldn't stop there in her quest to victory. Kasatkina was doing well a year or so back but started having losing streaks. Andreescu had propelled the Russian's game to elevate and it showed in the rhythm and performance.
Kasatkina twisted her game into another gear and did well to win the first set 7-5. The crowd showed love for the Canadian teen by waving flags and chanting her name as the second set began. There was a greater display of Andreescu's previous skills as she used them to win easy points and over challenging tactics from her opponent.
She had shown she could be victorious on difficult points leaving no doubt on her strong comeback being visible. Crosscourt rallies, open courts, and hitting winners Andreescu appeared now to do routinely as she leads by two breaks then to put the game away at 6-2.
She huffed and puffed showing signs of exhaustion but the decider was dramatic with Kasatkina running away with points and lead 5-4. A couple of double faults from the Russian drove Andreescu to hit better shots and winners.
Daria Kasatkina was making a stab at trying to win but her return in the doubles alley gave the Canadian teen the second-round victory of 5-7, 6-2, 7-5. She was visibly tired and was seen slumping back to her bench to gather her things.
"I did work a lot on the physical aspect of things but playing a match is a totally different thing. there's a lot more on the line...which definitely contributes to soreness and fatigue," she emphasized at press conference time.
She talked on her condition between the first and second rounds saying that "Yesterday wasn't an easy match and I had a very short recovery time, but that's just how it is sometimes." Andreescu may be a teen but is more mature as a player, knowing what it takes to get the job (victories) done.
"At 5-3, I think I lost four games in a row. I was really, really pissed and I think I just...I took all the anger and just put it in my shots. That's why I think my shots were more effective." Being off for about 7 weeks and being able to win two straight rounds means a lot to Andreescu.
She hopes that her next round will be just as accomplished and to perhaps go deeper into the tournament that she respects and is in her home town country.