Bianca Andreescu is into the quarter-finals of the Phillip Island Trophy, after benefitting from the retirement of Ziyana Diyas of Kazakhstan in the round of 16 on Tuesday, where she is joined by 4th seed Petra Martic and 8th seed Danielle Collins, who have restored order after a slew of upsets.
It's like a Hitchcock thing! Madison Brengle
The Canadian won the opener easily, 6-1, but then Diyas retired from the match before taking the court for a second set, leaving Andreescu to face Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania in the quarters.
Andreescu, the 2019 US Open champion, is now 3-1 in matches won 2021 after ending a 15-month absence from the tour through serious injury.
Seeded 2 for the title, Andreescu entered the new WTA Tour 250 event for early losers at the ongoing Australian Open after being ousted in the second round of the Grand Slam last week.
Ranked 9th in the world, Andreescu got a bye in the first round of the Phillip Island Trophy before topping the 85th-ranked Madison Brengle in the second round and the 83rd-ranked Diyas in the round of 16,
Andreescu had endured a late-night marathon on Monday in her opener, battling birds overhead, bugs underfoot and Madison Brengle across the net before surviving 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3.
Seagulls frequently swooped low into the 1573 Arena, prompting Brengle to exclaim at one point: “It’s like a Hitchcock thing!”
There were fewer tests for the Canadian in the third round, though, as World No 83 Diyas was forced to retire due to a knee injury.
Andreescu’s next opponent, unseeded Begu pulled off Tuesday’s biggest upset, defeating No 5 seed Wang Qiang, 6-7(2) 6-2 6-1.
Begu, 30, is ranked 74 and needed 2 hours and 15 minutes to win after being 1-3 and 3-5 down in the first set.
Wang finished with 4 aces and 7 double-faults, while Begu fired 2 aces and just 1 double-fault.
Elsewhere, Martic reached her first quarter-final since Palermo last August with a 6-1 6-3 win over wildcard Kimberly Birrell, and Collins moved past Misaki Doi, 6-4 6-2, to book her second quarter-final spot of this year’s Australian swing.
Two local players, who had beaten the odds in second-round upsets, had their fairytale runs halted in the last 16.
Unranked wildcard Olivia Gadecki, No 1 seed Sofia Kenin’s conqueror, fell 7-5 6-3 to No 16 seed Rebecca Peterson; and lucky loser Gabriella Da Silva Fick, who had saved 2 match points to stun Aliaksandra Sasnovich, was routed 6-1 6-1 by No 13 seed Marie Bouzkova.
Tuesday’s closest match was an all-Russian contest between former World No 10 Daria Kasatkina and No 7 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
While Kasatkina may be ranked World No 75 now and is unseeded in the draw, her upset of Pavlyuchenkova, 2-6 6-1 6-4, in fact tightened her grip on the pair’s head-to-head. and she now leads the series 3-1, having won each of their past three meetings.