Berlin crowd surprises Bianca Andreescu by singing “Happy Birthday”
Bianca Andreescu’s singles stint at the Bett1open did not go as well as she would have liked, as the Canadian fell in the second round to fourth seed Karolina Pliskova. In the doubles category, however, Andreescu has managed to reach as far as the semifinals, partnering with local girl Sabine Lisicki.
The pair took on third seeds Asia Muhammad and Ena Shibahara in the quarterfinals on Thursday, which happened to be the same day as the former US Open champion’s 22nd birthday.
Following the duo’s 7-6(4), 1-6, 10-7 upset win over the American-Japanese duo, the tournament organizers surprised the former World No. 4 with a birthday cake. On top of that, the 22-year-old got another happy surprise from the Berlin crowd, who serenaded her with a perfect rendition of “Happy Birthday.”
Grateful for the double surprise, Bianca Andresscu thanked the fans with a round of applause, as well as her doubles partner. Lisicki also took to Twitter later to wish the Canadian a Happy Birthday, prompting another message of thanks from Andreescu.
“Happy Birthday Bibi,” Lisicki tweeted.
“Thank you, love,” Andreescu responded.
Andreescu and Lisicki are slated to take on top seeds Storm Sanders and Katerina Siniakova in the semifinals on Saturday. The winner will take on either the unseeded pairing of Alize Cornet and Jil Teichmann or second seeds Giuliana Olmos and Gabriela Dabrowski in the final.
Bianca Andreescu slowly getting into rhythm following her return to action
Thanks to a pre-planned break from the game for mental health-related reasons, Bianca Andreescu missed the first four months of the 2022 season, playing for the first time only at the Stuttgart Open.
The Canadian has since reached the second round at Stuttgart, the third round at the Madrid Open, the quarterfinals at the Italian Open and the second round at the French Open most notably. Along with the most-recent second-round finish at the Bett1open, the former US Open champion has undoubtedly had a better-than-expected return to action.
In all five tournaments, the former World No. 4 has ended up losing only to seeded players, and only after giving them a tough fight. The 22-year-old stretched Aryna Sabalenka to three sets in Stuttgart and then did the same to Karolina Pliskova in Berlin.
Against Iga Swiatek in Rome, Andreescu broke the World No. 1’s serve multiple times and almost took the first set before Swiatek managed to fend off the Canadian.
The former US Open winner will be unseeded at the Wimbledon Championships, meaning that many seeded players will be hoping they do not draw her early on. Grass isn’t exactly her strongest surface, as Bianca Andreescu has never gone past the first round at SW19 (two appearances). This year, however, the former World No. 4 will be hoping to change that.
Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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