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Canada’s Bianca Andreescu had a few words for the woman who ended her quest to defend her National Bank Open title on Thursday.

“I told her she better win now,” Andreescu said with a smile, describing her net-side conversation with Ons Jabeur of Tunisia.

The duo battled through two hotly contested sets Friday before Jabeur pulled away in the third for a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-1 third-round victory.

It was a marathon match that stretched out over nearly four hours, with two rain delays, two medical time outs and 2 hours 39 minutes spent on the court.

Andreescu, the No. 2 seed, saved 5-of-11 break points across the match and Jabeur hit nine aces to secure her spot in the quarter-finals.

“I’m super disappointed in how I played,” said Andreescu, a 21-year-old native of Mississauga. “But at the same time, Ons played super well. And I tried to play my best with what I had today.”

Still, her frustration with the loss was palpable.

“I know I could have won this tournament again,” said the world No. 8. “I know that I’m going to bounce back.”

“There’s always something,” said Andreescu, who has battled a variety of injuries since winning the tournament, formerly known as the Rogers Cup, back in 2019. “I don’t know. I don’t understand.”

The boisterous crowd of about 5,000 erupted in applause with every point Andreescu scored, but a smaller contingent – many draped in Tunisian flags – eagerly voiced their support for Jabeur, too.

There was a “crazy battle” both on the court and in the stands, Jabeur said with a smile. She noted that the DJ even scrounged up some Tunisian music that made her laugh during a break between games.

“It felt like home,” she said.