For the first time since March, Bianca Andreescu has lost a tennis match.
In a blockbuster between the past two US Open champions, it was Osaka, the world No. 4 and 21-year-old from Japan, besting the 19-year-old Canadian 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in Beijing.
It ends the 17-match unbeaten streak of Andreescu, who last lost in the fourth round in Miami in March. It’s also the first loss for Andreescu, ranked sixth, against a player in the top 10. Before Friday, Andreescu was 8-0, with all of those wins coming this year.
“I forgot how it felt, and honestly it sucks,” Andreescu, in her first tournament since defeating Serena Williams to win the US Open in September, said of losing. “I didn’t miss it.”
On Friday, Osaka fought back from being a set and a break down against Andreescu. The Japanese-Haitian sealed the win on her third match point, with an ace. She finished with 31 winners to 30 unforced errors and had 10 aces.
“I was really nervous on the first couple (of match points), and I just tried to breathe,” Osaka said. “I know that she’s such an amazing player.”
After failing to defend her title at the US Open last month, Osaka has rebounded in Asia. She has won eight matches in a row, including winning her fourth career title, coming in the city of Osaka.
This is Osaka’s second straight year reaching the semifinals in Beijing. The two-time major champion next will face the defending champion, Caroline Wozniacki, who defeated Daria Kasatkina earlier Friday. The other semifinal is world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty against eighth-ranked Kiki Bertens.
Friday was the first meeting between Osaka and Andreescu. And if this is the first installment of a rivalry for years to come between them, tennis fans could be in for a real treat.
“We’re gonna have many matches like this,” Andreescu said.