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Bencic vs Andreescu U.S. Open live streaming, preview and tips - Bencic and Andreescu aiming to reach first Grand Slam final

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 5 Sep 2019
  • Belinda Bencic vs Bianca Andreescu is live from the U.S. Open around 8.30pm local time on Thursday (1.30am BST, Friday)
  • It's the first career meeting between the pair
Belinda Bencic (PA Images)

Belinda Bencic and Bianca Andreescu clash for the first time on Thursday night with a spot in the U.S. Open final on the line.

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What an opportunity for both Belinda Bencic and Bianca Andreescu as the pair square off at the U.S. Open on Thursday night for the right to advance into a first Grand Slam final.

Bencic, who experienced her first breakout on the big stage at the U.S. Open back as a teenager in 2014 when she made the quarter-finals, has dropped just one set on her way to the semi-finals, beating Mandy Minella in straight sets to open her campaign, before overcoming the always-tough Alize Cornet in three in the second round. From there, Bencic received a walkover from Anett Kontaveit and registered a third win over Naomi Osaka this season, knocking out the World No. 1 and defending champion by a 7-5 6-4 scoreline. The Swiss would go on to conquer close friend Donna Vekic 7-6(5) 6-3 in Wednesday’s quarter-final - which was her first appearance in the last eight of a major since the aforementioned 2014 U.S. Open - to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final.

"I worked hard for this - it's not like I never imagined I could do this," Bencic said after the match. "I mean, it's the best feeling in the world. I think that's why we tennis players play. For sure when you lose, it's the worst feeling. It's very bitter... What I love most is definitely the competition, these type of matches. Yeah, that feeling right after you do the match point is the nicest one."

Bencic certainly has worked hard for this moment. The 22-year-old was the next big thing of women’s tennis during her teenage years as she backed up that run to the 2014 U.S. Open quarter-finals by winning the Rogers Cup the following season, defeating  four of the world’s top six players at the time, including Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, Serena Williams and Simona Halep. That triumph propelled Bencic to No. 7 in the world, but she was struck down by various injury problems after that and even dropped out of the top 300 in 2017.

However, after working her way back into competition last year, Bencic has been back playing her best tennis this season, putting together an incredible 12-match winning streak between February and March, helping Switzerland to a Fed Cup victory before going on a magical run at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, conquering four top 10 players on the trot (again), including Aryna Sabalenka, Simona Halep, Svitolina and Petra Kvitova in the final. Bencic went on to reach the semi-finals of the Premier Mandatory BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells at her next tournament, claiming the scalp of defending champion Osaka in the fourth round and Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-finals before she was eventually stopped by Angelique Kerber. 

That run saw Bencic shoot back into the top 20, and after making the semi-finals in Madrid (beating Osaka once more) and finishing runner-up in Mallorca, and along with her run to the final four at Flushing Meadows, the Swiss is set to return to the top 10 for the first time since June 2016 when the new rankings are released on Monday. But Bencic is far from done in New York - can she make a first major final on Thursday night?

She will have to do something nobody has been able to achieve since the end of February, and that’s beat Bianca Andreescu in a completed match.

Bianca Andreescu (PA Images)
Andreescu is arguably the most in-form player on tour right now, which is astonishing when you consider that less than a year ago, the 19-year-old was ranked No. 243 and playing qualifying at the U.S. Open. But after storming onto the scene at the start of 2019, Andreescu has continued her spectacular form in just her fourth Grand Slam main draw, defeating Katie Volynets, Kirsten Flipkens, Caroline Wozniacki, Taylor Townsend and Elise Mertens to become the first Canadian to reach the U.S. Open semi-finals since 1984 and the first teenager to do so since Wozniacki in 2009. The most impressive aspect of Andreescu’s game and character is the confidence she has in herself and game - she’s seemingly forgotten how to lose and genuinely believes she is going to win every match she plays, and that certainly helped her come from a set down to beat Mertens on Wednesday night.

"If someone told me that I was going to be in the semifinals of the US Open a year ago, I would say, 'You're crazy,'" Andreescu said.
"I definitely think that I have fought really hard to get to this point, so I think I do deserve to be here and hopefully I can go all the way."

Andreescu is now a staggering 43-4 for the season in all competitions, with her highlights before this tournament coming at Indian Wells and the Rogers Cup, where she beat a combined seven top 10 players to win both titles. The Canadian, who is unbeaten against the game’s elite, struggled with a shoulder injury after her big breakthrough at Indian Wells, which restricted her to just one match on clay and caused her to miss Wimbledon, but she’s well and truly back and will break into the top 10 for the first time on Monday regardless of her result in the semis.

However, Andreescu has the game and champions mentality to go all the way at the U.S. Open, and in her current mindset, I have a tough time backing against her. Bencic is a sublime player in superb form right now and will make the Canadian play a lot of balls, but Andreescu has handled literally everything the very best has thrown at her all year. And when she looks down and out, she finds something extra and raises her level. Every time. Part of me wants to back Bencic because surely this run from Andreescu has to come to an end at some point - it’s getting to never-before-seen territory - but I can’t do it. The Canadian to win again and make a first major final.

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Bencic vs Andreescu U.S. Open live streaming, preview and tips - Bencic and Andreescu aiming to reach first Grand Slam final

Belinda Bencic and Bianca Andreescu clash for the first time on Thursday night with a spot in the U.S. Open final on the line.

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