Bianca Andreescu showed the type of form that had won her the US Open title back in 2019 when she handed a straight sets defeat to top seed Daria Kasatkina at the Bad Homburg Open presented by Engel & Voeklers on Thursday, and she now will face Simona Halep in the semi-finals, who demolished Amanda Anisimova, 6-2 6-1, while Alizé Cornet took out defending champion Angelique Kerber, 6-4 2-6 6-1, and will meet compatriot Caroline Garcia, a 6-3 7-6(7) winner over Sabine Lisicki.
I definitely want to get my revenge [against Halep]. Having match point & screwing that up. I think about that a couple times a month, honestly. Whenever I see her that’s all I think about. Bianca Andreesscu
Andreescu reached her first semi-final in over a year, and her first on grass, with a convincing win over Kasatkina, breaking the No 1 seed’s serve 5 times in a dominant performance.
The Canadian is now the closest she has come to a title since she took time off to recharge and work on her mental health, missing the Australian Open before returning to the tour in April.
Away from the match court, Andreescu has developed her interests in making music and written a children’s book inspired by her childhood on the tennis court.
It took the Canadian an hour and 22 minutes to dispatch Kasatkina, firing 3 aces and striking 28 winners in a one-sided match played in very hot and humid conditions on the centre court.
“I am super grateful that I was able to fight, I managed well, and I am onto the next,” Andreescu said afterwards.
Holding her opening service game, the Canadian then had two chances to break and earned the first break of the match by firing a return forehand winner down the line to seal it.
Play remained on serve until 5-3 when the top seed started to push back, earning the break back before Andreescu broke again in the following game to seal the first set.
The Canadian continued to dominate early in the second, riding the wave of momentum to take a 2-0 lead, which turned into a double-break with a powerful backhand winner for 4-0.
Kasatkina once again managed to claw a break back, only to be broken yet again in the next game, and the 2019 US Open champion simply served out the match.
In her post-match interview, Andreescu was asked about how she continues to improve her game.
“That is always the goal is to learn from each match, and just keep improving as much as I can,” she replied “It’s amazing, I have been through some rough times and just persevering through all of it, really makes all of these moments worth it.”
The 22-year old’s semi-final opponent is Halep, the 4th seed from Romania, whose quick-fire win in just 54 minutes over Anisimova, the 6th-seeded American, puts her in back-to-back semi-finals after reaching the Last 4 in Birmingham last week.
Andreescu and Halep meet for the second time after the Romanian claimed a tight 3-6 7-6(6) 6-3 win at the WTA Finals in 2019, where the Canadian missed out on a match point.
“I definitely want to get my revenge,” Andreescu said. “Having match point & screwing that up. I think about that a couple times a month, honestly. Whenever I see her that’s all I think about.”
Meanwhile, Cornet, the 9th-seeded Frenchwoman, disappointed the packed crowd by taking out home favourite and defending champion Kerber, the 3rd seed, who lost lost for the first time in Bad Homburg in a gruelling 3-setter played in stifling conditions that took just under 2 hours.
Cornet meets fellow countrywoman Garcia in Friday’s semi-final, who beat another home favourite in Lisicki in 2 tight sets, after the German had reached her first tour-level quarter-final match since 2018 after years of struggling with knee injuries.