World No. 15 Bianca Andreescu held off a strong challenge from qualifier Taylor Townsend to reach the US Open quarterfinals, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, in an intense battle finishing at 12:40 a.m. on Tuesday in New York. The 19-year-old impressively notched her 11th consecutive win in deciders but will look to rein in her second serve and emotions ahead of her next match with Elise Mertens.
"It wasn't easy, that's for sure. I don't normally play people like this. But I made sure to work on my passing shots yesterday during practice," Andreescu told Pam Shriver in an on-court interview afterwards. "It worked in the first and third sets. She picked it up in the second set, which was expected. I'm glad I kept my cool in the end."
Andreescu thrives on pinpointing targets and for Townsend, the Canadian’s variety—and accuracy—caused a lack of rhythm on her net rushes. Andreescu won 10 of 17 points in the first set when Townsend came forward, breaking three times in the process.
Townsend relaxed after getting on the board with a confident hold to begin the second set and soon built a 3-0 lead. Andreescu kept attacking to erase the break deficit, but her serve, which had shaky moments in the first set, crumbled when Townsend created set point with a forehand down the line winner.
During the set break, Townsend tried to stay loose by jump roping, but a slew unforced errors saw her fall behind an early break. At 1-0, 30-15, Andreescu received a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct when her racquet went flying as she slammed a ball in frustration following another double fault. The No. 15 seed regrouped to hold and surged ahead to close out the American in one hour and 55 minutes.
Andreescu improved to a staggering 42-4 on the season and finds herself in a half of a draw guaranteed to feature a first-time major finalist. The winner of Indian Wells and Toronto this season, Andreescu will meet Mertens for the first time. The Belgian has been dominant in her run to the last eight, conceding no more than three games in each of the eight sets she’s played.
"I'm definitely going to watch some of her matches. She's a pretty aggressive player," said Andreescu. "I'm going to focus right now on a good recovery."
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