Monday, April 22, 2024

Australian Open: A favorable draw for Bianca Andreescu

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
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After a 15-month absence from the WTA Tour, Ontarian Bianca Andreescu is finally ready for her comeback. She faces Romanian Mihaela Buzarnesco, who will perform next week in the first round of the Australian Open tennis tournament.

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The eighth candidate in the competition, the 20-year-old Canadian took advantage of a positive draw on Friday in the first Grand Slam tournament of the season. Buzarnescu, currently ranked 138 in the world from the previous top 20 players, entered the main draw in Melbourne as the “lucky loser”. The Canadian and Roman have faced each other twice in the past, each earning a victory.

Andreescu will play her first match in the tour since October 2019. She then withdrew from the WTA Finals due to a knee injury.

After her return was repeatedly postponed, the US Open 2019 champion wanted to be reassured during a press conference held Friday in Melbourne.

“I am ready,” she said. I prepared as best I could and had about five months ahead of the season. At this point, I’m so grateful to be back and in good health … I can’t wait. “

Even if she still aspires to the top, the former fourth player in the world prefers to remain realistic in her goals in the Australian big game.

“Since I haven’t played in a while, I have no expectations (…) but I don’t feel like I have too much pressure on my shoulder. Yes, I am the seed, but I haven’t played for a long time. So I just want to get out there and be thankful for that.”

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Fernandez vs Mertens

For her part, Quebec youth Leila Annie Fernandez will meet with Swords of Belgium, 18th seed Elise Mertens in the first round. She found herself on the same part of the table as the 11th-ranked Swiss, Belinda Bencic, and the Czech, Karolina Pliskova, sixth candidate.

Finally, British-Colombian Rebecca Marino will face Australian Kimberly Pearl (ranked 747), who received a pass to the main draw.

In men, the 14th candidate, Milos Raonic, will face Argentine Federico Correa (92) in the first round. He is part of Swiss Stan Wawrinka’s schedule, but especially Novak Djokovic, who might face him in the fourth round.

For their part, young wolves could meet 11th-seed Denis Shapovalov, and 20-seed Felix Oger-Aliassim in the third round. The road is expected to be tough, especially for Shabo, who will face Italian Yannick Sener (36th) on the first lap. For its part, German FAA will oppose Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (128th), the “lucky loser”, in the first round. Finally, British-Colombian Vasik Busbecil (61st) will have a lot to do in the first round against Russian Daniel Medvedev, fourth in the world.

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