Bianca Andreescu improves to 10-0 at U.S. Open

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NEW YORK (AP)Why yes, that was Bianca Andreescu who improved her lifetime U.S. Open record to 10-0 by defeating Greet Minnen 6-1, 6-2.

The first player from Canada to win a Grand Slam singles title returned to the tournament after sitting out last year; she missed the full 2020 season after tearing the meniscus in her left knee. The 21-year-old Andreescu seemingly picked up where she left off in 2019 when she pulled out a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Serena Williams to win the U.S. Open.

But the road back to Flushing Meadows has been riddled with roadblocks, everything from injuries that contributed to her missing all of 2020 to COVID-19 to a first-round loss this year at Wimbledon.

She hasn’t necessarily been forgotten in New York. The sixth-seeded Andreescu just hasn’t been stamped as a serious threat to win it all.

”So far, I’m loving it,” she said. ”I hope that it can continue like this the whole way and I can be 14-0 at the U.S. Open.”

Her win streak may not yet rival the streaks set by Rafael Nadal, who won his first 31 matches in the French Open, or Rod Laver, who won Wimbledon in his first two appearances as a professional, but they beat the alternative.

”I feel very grateful to have accomplished that and to be alongside all those amazing players,” she said. ”I hope that I can continue my streak and make it two in a row.”

Up next, a match Monday against Maria Sakkari.

STEPHENS OPENS UP

Sloane Stephens shared on Instagram abusive messages sent to her after the 2017 U.S. Open champion was knocked out of this year’s tournament by Angelique Kerber.

”I am human, after last night’s match I got 2K + message of abuse/anger from people upset by yesterday’s result,” she wrote. ”It’s so hard to reach messages like these but I’ll post a few so you guys can see what it’s like after a loss…”

Stephens shared vile, abusive, threatening messages that she wrote were ”exhausting and never ending.”

”This isn’t talked about enough, but it really freaking sucks,” she wrote. ”I’m happy to have people in my corner who support me. I’m choosing positive vibes over negative ones. I choose to show you guys happiness on here, but it’s not always smiles and roses.”

She ended the post with messages of support from friends and family and wrote, ”My team!!!!! The only ones who matter.’

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RADUCANU ROLLS

Emma Raducanu continues to roll at the U.S. Open, using a straight-sets victory to advance to the fourth round.

Raducanu beat Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-0, 6-1 to set up a potential date with top-seeded Ash Barty. Barty was scheduled to play Saturday night against Shelby Rogers.

Raducanu, who was born in Canada and represents Britain, is into the fourth round at the U.S. Open after getting to Week 2 of Wimbledon in her major debut at age 18.

Raducanu has won all 12 sets she has played in New York, with three wins in qualifying and three in the main draw.

She had 29 winners against Tormo.

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CHAMPIONSHIP COACH

Juan Carlos Ferrero knows a thing or two about winning big in Grand Slam tournaments. He won the 2003 French Open and was runner-up at Roland Garros in 2002 and at the U.S. Open in 2003.

He might have another deep run this season, only this as coach to upstart sensation Carlos Alcaraz. The 18-year-old out of Spain pulled off a dramatic five-set victory over No. 3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday that had a rowdy Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd in his corner.

Ferrero, who played with such boundless energy he was nicknamed ”Mosquito,” see the same kind of Grand Slam potential in his protegee.

”He’s still 18 years old and he needs to get more mature, to control his emotions in there, and to control when he has to go with 100% of his potential or when he has to use 80% or sometimes play with a lot more spin or more flat,” Ferrero said. ”He’s on the way to order all these kind of things, but I think he’s in a good way to do it.”

QUALITY WINS

Oscar Otte has given the U.S. Open men’s bracket a trio of qualifiers in the fourth round for the first time since the tournament began keeping qualifying records in 1982.

It’s also the first time at any Grand Slam tournament that three male qualifiers reached Week 2 since the 1995 French Open.

Otte, a German who is ranked 144th, beat Andeas Seppi of Italy 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5. He is the lowest-ranked man to get to the fourth round in New York since No. 179 Jiri Novak in 2006.

Qualifiers Peter Gojowczyk and Botic van de Zandschulp won third-round matches Friday.

Otte’s next opponent will be Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini of Italy.

The sixth-seeded Berrettini, a semifinalist at the U.S. Open in 2019, advanced by defeating Ilya Ivashka 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

ITALY ALIVE

Berrettini and No. 13 seed Jannik Sinner both won five-setters, becoming the first pair of Italians to reach the fourth round in U.S. Open history.

Sinner faces the winner of the Alex Zverev-Jack Sock match.

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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