Bianca Andreescu ousted from Australian Open in 2nd round by unseeded Hsieh
Canadian falls in straight sets as 1st tournament in 15 months ends early
Hsieh Su-Wei beat Bianca Andreescu at her own game Wednesday at the Australian Open.
The world No. 71 from Taiwan was creative, effective and in full control of their second-round match at Rod Laver Arena. Hsieh mixed up her shots nicely — normally an Andreescu trademark — and eliminated the Canadian 6-3, 6-2 in a comfortable 83 minutes.
"Even in those tough moments, I thought I could break her a little bit," Andreescu said. "But she was on every single ball."
Andreescu, seeded eighth at the Grand Slam event, struggled from the start against her 71st-ranked opponent and never really got on track.
WATCH | Andreescu falls in straight sets against Hsieh:
The 2019 US Open champion earned a three-set victory Monday in her first competitive match in 15 months. But she couldn't generate any momentum against the crafty veteran on a hot, sunny morning at Melbourne Park.
Hsieh consistently worked Andreescu around the court and kept her off-balance. She used power when she needed to and played the angles well.
Andreescu displayed flashes of the championship form that she exhibited in her breakout 2019 season but was forced to rely on her power game when other shots weren't working. An inconsistent serve and uncharacteristic mistakes — likely a sign of rust from so much time away — were her undoing.
Just 60 per cent of Andreescu's first serves were in play and she had 25 unforced errors to 14 for Hsieh.
Andreescu suffered a torn meniscus in her left knee in October 2019. The 20-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., focused on training last year rather than a return to the WTA Tour once it resumed after a pause due to the pandemic.
Upon arrival in Australia last month, Andreescu endured a 14-day hard quarantine in her hotel. She declined to play in a warmup tournament last week, electing to focus on practice sessions and training.
Andreescu had no regrets about the decision.
"I don't feel [I'm playing] my best on the court for sure, but I'm super-happy that I'm finally back after being off for so long," she said.
WATCH | Frustrated Andreescu argues with umpire:
Canada's Marino also eliminated
The other Canadian left in the women's singles draw was also eliminated Wednesday as 19th-seeded Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic defeated Vancouver qualifier Rebecca Marino 6-1, 7-5.
It was Marino's first Grand Slam appearance since 2013. Her opening-round win was her first victory at a major since 2011.
WATCH | Marino out of tournament after loss to Vondrousova:
In men's second-round play, Felix Auger-Aliassime, the 20th seed from Montreal, defeated Australia's James Duckworth 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.
No. 11 Denis Shapovalov beat Australian qualifier Bernard Tomic 6-1, 6-3, 6-2, and will face Auger-Aliassime in the next round.
WATCH | Auger-Aliassime crushes Duckworth:
No. 14 seed Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., leaned on his serve to rally from a first-set tiebreak loss to defeat France's Corentin Moutet 6-7, 6-1, 6-1, 6-4. Raonic will take on Hungary's Marton Fucsovics next.
In women's doubles, the sixth-seeded pair of Gabriela Dabrowski of Ottawa and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands opened with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Spain's Lara Arruabarrena and American Kaitlyn Christian.
Leylah Fernandez of Laval, Que., and Heather Watson of Great Britain were to face the 10th-seeded duo of China's Shuai Zhang and Australia's Samantha Stosur. Fernandez lost her first-round singles match on Tuesday.
WATCH | Raonic rallies to defeat Moutet:
Andreescu started her match with a double-fault and was broken in her first game. Shots were sailing on her and Hsieh was more consistent.
Hsieh showed off great retrieval skills and left few openings for her opponent. Andreescu was forced to do more legwork and it seemed to affect her rhythm.
Andreescu gave up another break and started to get more aggressive after dropping her fourth straight game. She later earned a break of her own to get to 3-5 but Hsieh served things out, converting her third set point when Andreescu shanked a ground stroke.
Hsieh has a potent game from the backcourt but was no match for Andreescu's power. The 35-year-old right-hander instead relied on other tools and it was effective.
Mixing in off-speed slices with her baseline game left Andreescu hamstrung at times. Hsieh frequently worked Andreescu out wide and was able to dictate the play.
"The fact that she can change the rhythm — I know I can change the rhythm too — but she's just on another level, at least today," Andreescu said.
Hsieh also wasn't afraid to go for it, finding the line with a strong backhand off a second serve for a winner and break at 4-2.
Andreescu fought off two match points before Hsieh sealed her spot in the third round.
"She played really well, I have to give credit to her," Andreescu said. "I definitely have to get back into the groove of things and hopefully that'll be sooner than later."
WATCH | Shapovalov wins to setup all-Canadian 3rd round clash:
Serena Williams is back in the Australian Open's third round, where her stay in the Grand Slam tournament ended a year ago.
The owner of an Open era-record 23 major singles championships moved on by grabbing the last seven games to beat 99th-ranked Nina Stojanovic of Serbia 6-3, 6-0 in a little more than an hour.
Williams saved all three break points she faced, hit a half-dozen aces and compiled 27 winners with just 11 unforced errors.
The 39-year-old American has won the title in Australia seven times, but her third loss to Wang Qiang in the third round in 2020 was Williams' earliest exit at Melbourne Park in 14 years.
This time, Williams will try to go further with a win against Anastasia Potapova, a 19-year-old Russian who was the junior champion at Wimbledon in 2016 and currently is ranked 101st.
Potapova has yet to win a tour-level title and will be making her debut in the third round at a major tournament.
Osaka breezes into 3rd round
Naomi Osaka beat another potentially difficult opponent with relative ease, dropping just five games in a 6-2, 6-3 win over former top-five player Caroline Garcia.
The U.S. Open champion beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, a three-time quarterfinalist at Melbourne Park, 6-1, 6-2 in the first round. The matches lasted just over an hour each.
With her quick matches, third-seeded Osaka has had plenty of spare time in Melbourne, but she admitted after the match she's pretty much just stayed in lockdown.
Her first day in Melbourne after the mandatory quarantine, she said, "I was really excited because you guys get to do stuff unlike in America."
"So I walked around, but then I felt guilty and didn't know if people were staring at me, so now I just stay in my room and watch Netflix."
Djokovic fends off Tiafoe
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic fended off a spirited challenge from Frances Tiafoe, beating the young 23-year-old American 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (2), 6-3 in a 3 1/2-hour match.
Both players were on serve in the fourth set and looked headed for another tiebreaker when Tiafoe was given a time violation on his serve. He lost his temper — and then his serve — to fall behind 3-4. He didn't win another game in the match.
Though Tiafoe played an aggressive match, Djokovic was better when it mattered. He had the edge in terms of winners (56-49) and converted five break points to just two for Tiafoe.
Djokovic had only lost in the second round once at Melbourne Park, against Denis Istomin in 2017. in other men's action, Nick Kyrgios saved two match points in the fourth set before beating 29th-seeded Ugo Humbert 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 in a momentum-swinging second-round match.
U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem has eased through the second round with a 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 win over Donimik Koepfer of Germany.
Six-seeded Alexander Zverev beat American qualifier Maxime Cressy 7-5, 6-4, 6-3.
WATCH | CBC Sports examines Bianca Andreescu's quick Australian Open exit:
With files from The Associated Press