After a hard-fought first-round victory at the National Bank Open in Toronto, Bianca Andreescu clapped back at those who claimed she wrongly won the match through cunning shenanigans.
On the way to the 7-6(5), 6-4 win against Daria Kasatkina, Andreescu took a medical break and had several long breaks at critical moments of the game. When the two met in the deciding tie-break of the first set, the number 53 sat in place, where it stayed for quite a while.
Shortly after the win, Andreescu went out to shake hands with Kasatkina, only to receive a cold reply from her opponent.
“Lots of salt in that handshake — didn’t look like Daria Kasatkina appreciated Bianca Andreescu’s long rest between sets — and got into the breaker early,” said NBO reporter Nick McCarvel wrote on Twitter.
After the match, the 22-year-old claimed her multiple breaks weren’t a tactical ploy to put Kasatkina out of her game
“I don’t want to be dramatic, although… honestly I was a mess,” said Andreescu, the 2019 US Open champion. “I’m so sorry for my attitude. I really didn’t feel well.”
She later confirmed that the mysterious ailments she was suffering from had nothing to do with her previous injury.
“It has nothing to do with my back. I was really dizzy,” said Andreescu. “Maybe something I ate, or all the pre-tournament stress. I felt good before the game today.
“I hit a shot and I thought I almost saw double. So that was kind of the point where I didn’t feel good.
Even after speaking to the media, Andreescu took to Instagram to once again defend her medical breaks.
“I really didn’t feel good,” the Canadian wrote of her Instagram story. “I definitely didn’t mean to cause any harm/distraction or whatever people called my opponent or anyone on the matter… It just saddens me to see that people actually believe that.
“We athletes go through injuries, illnesses etc, the last thing I want to do is put more of that energy in the air, especially if it’s fake?”
In closing, Andreescu implored her critics to try to walk in the shoes of a professional athlete, adding, “I’m only human.”
On Thursday she meets Qinwen Zheng in the round of 16.