China Open: Unbeatable Andreescu survives scare as Barty brings up half-century

US Open champion Bianca Andreescu and world number one Ashleigh Barty both won at the China Open, though neither progressed in routine fashion on Wednesday.

Bianca Andreescu is currently unbeaten in 16 matches and has not lost a completed contest since March.   -  Getty Images

US Open champion Bianca Andreescu's incredible unbeaten run continued as she fought past Elise Mertens at the China Open.

In a rematch of their Flushing Meadows quarterfinal, Andreescu survived a second-set fightback from the Belgian to progress to the last-16 in Beijing.

World number one Ashleigh Barty went the distance with Zheng Saisai but powered through in the third set to keep her hopes alive.

Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens also progressed along with Elina Svitolina, but Madison Keys was on the wrong end of a stunning turnaround from fellow American Jennifer Brady.

- ANDREESCU TRIUMPHS IN TOUGH BATTLE -

Andreescu trailed 4-1 in the second set with Mertens, who had a set point to force a decider at 5-4.

However, Andreescu saved that before breaking back to force a tie-break, which she edged to complete a 6-3, 7-6(5) triumph.

 

Andreescu is unbeaten in 16 matches and has not lost a completed contest since March. "Today was more of a battle mentally with myself than anything," the 19-year-old said. "I felt like I was getting very down on myself.

"I expect a lot from myself in general, but I have to realise not everything is going to go the way I want it to," she added.

- BRADY TURNS TABLES ON KEYS -

Brady trailed by a set and a break against former US Open finalist Keys, but the qualifier produced a remarkable comeback to claim her fourth top-20 win of the season. She came through 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 after one hour and 56 minutes, but acknowledged fortune played a significant role in her victory, which sets up a third-round clash with Andreescu.

 

"I was just letting her dictate and take control and be the one in charge," said Brady. "I feel like I got a bit lucky with a few points here and there and was able to turn around the match.

"I think it was just mentally, being able to stay in there and fight. Not give in, not look at the score, just stay positive and stay within myself. Look to play my game and be more aggressive, knowing that if I stay in there, things can happen. And they did. I was happy they did."

- 50 NOT OUT FOR BARTY! -

A former cricketer in the Big Bash League, Barty reached her half-century for 2019 as she claimed her 50th win of the year on Wednesday.

She did so with a display of grit that would have been well suited to a long spell at the crease, winning 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2 in two hours and 32 minutes.

The Australian becomes the second woman to reach 50 wins on Tour this year, drawing level with Karolina Pliskova.

Barty will next face Kvitova after the two-time Wimbledon champion overcame Belinda Bencic, while Bertens' reward for beating Polona Hercog is a match with Svitolina, whose three-set win over Sofia Kenin finished well after midnight.