Andreescu topples Osaka in three-set thriller to advance at Libema Open

In a clash of Grand Slam champions, Canadian Bianca Andreescu defeated Naomi Osaka in a three-set thriller 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 in 2 hours, 15 minutes to advance to the semifinals of the Libema Open on Friday.

In a match delayed by over two hours due to rain, the 23-year-old produced a clinic in precision and variety on the grass courts, hitting 18 winners to just 16 errors in the victory.

It’s her first career semifinal since January of 2023 at the Thailand Open.

The opponents began steady on serve, before weather wreaked havoc on the action. Rain first began to fall with Osaka leading 2-1 in the first set, and would not stop until past 5:00 PM Netherlands time.

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The stoppage in play would not disrupt Andreescu’s determination on court.

The 2019 US Open winner returned with a prompt hold of serve, and began applying pressure to Osaka.

After a clean forehand winner brought up a break point chance, Andreescu seized on her opportunity, closing with a volley to take a 4-3 lead.

She staved off a break point chance for Osaka, serving her way out of trouble to close the first set 6-4 in 40 minutes.

Andreescu committed just five unforced errors in the set, and using a mix of pace and variety in her ground game while serving at a strong clip.

The 26-year-old from Japan pushed back immediately in the second set, holding in the opening game and hitting consecutive forehand winners to break for an early 2-0 advantage.

With momentum firmly on her side, the former world no. 1 pushed ahead by a double break, as Andreescu double faulted to fall behind 4-0.

The Canadian did secure one break back before Osaka closed out the second set, 6-3.

The two fiery competitors continued the intense battle into the third set, trading holds through the first five service games.

The 2019 US Open champion made her move on the scoreboard, striking a pair of winners and breaking for a 4-2 lead.

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Matters were complicated at 5-3, as the Canadian was unable to serve matters out, with Osaka striking two big forehands to break back.

As the level between the opponents remained high, the pair went into a decisive third set tiebreak and the Canadian’s consistency proved the difference.

From 2-2, the Mississauga native won five of the final six points, drawing one final error from the four-time Grand Slam winner as her last forehand struck the net.

It’s Andreescu’s first career win over Osaka as she evens their head-to-head at one win apiece.

She advances to the semifinals and will face Hungary’s Dalma Galfi next.

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