If you weren’t a Canadian tennis fan at the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday, you would have had a difficult time finding anything to watch.
First Denis Shapovalov, then Milos Raonic and, finally, Bianca Andreescu took to the three big stadium courts at Indian Wells – all within 20 minutes of one another.
It turned out to be a rather successful afternoon, too, with a third-set loss by Shapovalov preventing a sweep on yet another big day for Canadian tennis.
Last on and first off was the surging Andreescu. The 18-year-old from Mississauga was masterful in a 6-0, 6-1 dismantling of two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain, the No. 20 seed.
Andreescu is into the women’s singles semi-finals, the biggest result in her skyrocketing career.
As Andreescu was dominating on the main stadium court, the 13th-seeded Raonic was quietly making his way past unseeded German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 6-3 to reach the men’s singles quarter-finals.
Struff had upset his German countryman Alexander Zverev, the No. 3 seed, earlier in the tournament.
Shapovalov, 19, couldn’t quite make it a 3-0 day for Canadians, though. The No. 24 seed from Richmond Hill, Ont., double-faulted on match point, falling 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-3 to the unseeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.
Andreescu, meanwhile, was the story of the day from a Canadian perspective.
“It’s incredible what I’ve achieved the last couple of months. I’m beyond grateful. And today I think I just played my best tennis – one of the best matches I’ve ever played,” Andreescu said during her on-court interview after the victory. “It all comes down to good days and bad days, and today I had one of my best days.”
Andreescu improves her won-loss record on the 2019 season to 26-3 and is guaranteed to move into the top 40 in the WTA Tour rankings.
Just 24 hours ago, she was a new arrival into the top 50.
The Canadian teen could meet another teen in the semi-finals. Marketa Vondrousova, a 19-year-old Czech left-hander, was slated to face No. 6 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in a quarter-final match Wednesday night, with the winner drawing Andreescu.
Andreescu needed just 52 minutes to get by Muguruza, who has had inconsistent results the past couple of seasons after winning the French Open in 2016 and a Wimbledon title in 2017.
She was the beneficiary of Serena Williams’s retirement because of a viral illness in the third round. But in this match, she looked as she often has, when things aren’t working: at sea, almost in despair.
Long-time coach Sam Sumyk came out twice for on-court coaching consults. He urged the Spaniard to fight. And he tried to offer options – mix up the pace, come to the net as early as possible in the point. Not only did nothing work, but Muguruza barely tried to change anything.
It took her more than 40 minutes to even get on the scoreboard as her younger opponent raced to a 6-0, 3-0 lead. Muguruza made 26 unforced errors in all, and won just nine of 22 points on her first serve (and only three of 13 on her second serve). Andreescu broke her five of the six times she served.
“I just stayed focused right from the start. I didn’t have anything to lose today, so I just went for it,” Andreescu said. “I believe in myself, because I believe anything is possible.”
Raonic, who is working with new coach Fabrice Santoro for the first time this week, has made it to at least the quarter-finals in his past five Indian Wells appearances.
The 28-year-old from Thornhill, Ont. was a semi-finalist in 2018, losing to eventual champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina. In 2017, he lost to Novak Djokovic in the final.
The Andreescu and Raonic matches finished almost simultaneously, as their compatriot Shapovalov was still on court.
Raonic will play lucky loser Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia in a Thursday quarter-final.
Another Canadian, Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski, will team up with Chinese partner Xu Yifan to play their women’s doubles semi-final Thursday.
All three will head to the Miami Open next week, where another Canadian teen, Montreal’s Félix Auger-Aliassime, will play the qualifying. Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que., also may have to qualify, unless there are two more withdrawals before qualifying starts early next week.
Andreescu, who received a wild card into Indian Wells, had her ranking high enough, at No. 70, at the Feb. 4 entry deadline for Miami. Therefore, she will be in the main draw.