TORONTO — Sensing the gravity of the moment with hometown favourite Bianca Andreescu down 5-3 in the third set, the crowd threw its support behind the 19-year-old from Mississauga, Ont.
A rowdy Romanian contingent — which cheered on world No. 4 Simona Halep as she squeaked by American Jennifer Brady earlier Wednesday — stuck around for the Canadian, whose parents hail from the Eastern European country, with roughly a half-dozen of its flags visible in the Aviva Centre.
Andreescu’s response was highlighted by one of her five aces on the day, a cross-court forehand winner and a fist-pump as she pulled to within one game.
“They helped me push myself even more, just knowing that the crowd is behind you,” Andreescu recalled.
“And, yeah, at 5-3, I think I lost four games in a row. I was really, really pissed. And I think I just took all that anger and just put it in my shots. That’s why I think my shots were more effective.”
She gutted out one more and in the final game, Andreescu tiredly fist-pumped twice after firing a pair of winners to clinch a 7-5, 2-6, 5-7 win over world No. 40 Daria Kasatkina of Russia at the Rogers Cup.
Watch all the action on Sportsnet
Sportsnet is serving up exclusive national English-language coverage of every round of the 2019 Rogers Cup presented by National Bank on Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE and Sportsnet NOW.
Andreescu barely pulled out a pass on her second on-court test, which came less than 24 hours after she fought through the rust in her first match in two months, a three-set, all-Canadian matchup with Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que.
The tournament is akin to a university finals week for the Indian Wells champion as she returns from an extended layoff, offering her the chance to assess her skills and evaluate the strength of her right shoulder, in which she tore the subscapularis muscle in her r
Read More From Publisher