"I don't want to sound like cocky or anything, but I kind of forgot how it feels to lose, which a think is a good thing,” Bianca Andreescu said after her 15th consecutive victory, a three-set win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich in Beijing for her 13th straight deciding set triumph.
Forgetting how to lose is a dream come true for every tennis player, and if we discount her mid-match retirement against Anett Kontaveit in Miami, she hasn’t lost a completed match since March 1st, against Sofia Kenin in the Acapulco semifinals.
Andreescu will try and extend her win streak against the 23rd-ranked Mertens, who according to Andreescu, was her toughest test at the US Open. “I kind of have an idea of how she plays, she knows how I play now. I think it will be a tough battle no matter what,” the Canadian said.
Mertens is one of the more consistent players on tour both in terms of her results, and her game style. She typically doesn’t beat herself, and at 5’10” covers the court gracefully, always aiming to put an extra ball in play. When given the opportunity, Andreescu will target the slightly weaker Mertens forehand. The Belgian can rip backhands with anyone, so Andreescu will use her heavy topspin and slice to break down Mertens' pancake-flat forehand.
Andreescu will lose again eventually, but until she does, she is the comprehensive favorite against anyone. The Canadian currently sits at No. 5 in the world, but according to the Universal Tennis Rating system, she holds the top spot. Mertens will surely want some revenge for her Flushing Meadows defeat, but as long as Andreescu is healthy, it’s difficult to imagine her faltering with her current win-only mantra.