While all eyes will be on the Williams-Kontaviet match on Arthur Ashe, there will be another potential classic on Louis Armstrong during that court’s night session. 2019 champion Bianca Andreescu will face one of the top performers of this year in Beatriz Haddad Maia – who is due a deep run after her improvement in 2022.
Haddad Maia is actually yet to make a third round at a grand slam but this is her first time round competing at the heights of the top 20. The Brazilian hits big and has used that to good effect to pull off wins against the likes of Swiatek, Pliskova, Sakkari and Halep in the past year. She destroyed Ana Konjuh in round one with her 6-0 6-0 victory being the first for her at this level in addition to many at ITF level.
Both mental and physical health issues have plagued Andreescu in her attempts to return to the form that saw her shock the world in 2019 and win the title. Able to match the best for power but also variety made it seem like a clear multi-slam champion was on the way but things have not worked out like that so far. She avoided a potential shock loss against Harmony Tan but did need three sets to beat someone who already had one high profile scalp this year. “I think I started off very, very well, and then [Tan] kind of came back, she changed her game style. I felt like she was playing more aggressive, coming to the net.” she said. “I was a bit thrown off guard, and then I had to regroup in the third set, because I know if I didn’t, then I’m sure she could have won that third set. But I’m just happy with how I dealt with it at the end.”
The pair have actually met before but not much can be read from a 2016 clash when both players were outside the top 200. Haddad Maia has to be considered the favourite for this one given the hot streak she is on right now. Andreescu has struggled in particular with the better power players recently and the Brazilian has to be considered in that group for time being.
Prediction – Beatriz Haddad Maia in straight sets