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Bianca Andreescu clinches Fed Cup win for Canada over Netherlands

Bianca Andreescu clinches Fed Cup win for Canada over Netherlands
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‘S-HERTOGENBOSCH, NETHERLANDS—Bianca Andreescu didn’t think she played her best tennis on Sunday.

It was still enough to get the job done.

Canadians, from left, Gabriela Dabrowski, Francoise Abanda, captain Heidi El Tabakh, Bianca Andreescu and Rebecca Marino celebrate after winning their Fed Cup tie with the Netherlands on Sunday. Andreescu clinched the tie with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Arantxa Rus.  (KOEN SUYK / AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Andreescu lifted Canada into the Fed Cup playoffs with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands.

The Mississauga, Ont., teenager needed just one hour, nine minutes to beat her 129th-ranked opponent and give Canada a 3-0 lead over the Netherlands in the best-of-five tie.

“I thought my level was below average today, but sometimes you are able to win not playing your best,” Andreescu said. “I’m only 18, but at this point I don‘t think age really matters anymore. The mental aspect is so incredibly important and I think I showed mental strength this weekend.”

Andreescu overcame two breaks in the opening set by breaking Rus three times. She converted on both break points in the second set for the victory.

The Canadian team advanced to the Fed Cup playoffs for the first time since 2015 and will play for a spot in the World Group in April. Their opponents will be unveiled Tuesday at the Fed Cup Draw in London.

The 18-year-old Andreescu was coming off a straight-sets win Saturday in the opening rubber against Richel Hogenkamp. Montreal’s Francoise Abanda then beat Rus in the second match to give Canada a 2-0 lead heading into Sunday’s matches.

Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski and Vancouver’s Rebecca Marino won a doubles match later Sunday against Bibiane Schoofs and Demi Schuurs, 2-6, 7-5, 12-10.

Marino, ranked 209th in singles, made a comeback last season after taking a five-year break from the sport. Dabrowski, who has two Grand Slam titles in mixed doubles, is 10th in the doubles rankings.

“I am so incredibly proud of these girls,” said Canadian captain Heidi El Tabakh. “We knew it was going to be tough going into this weekend, but our girls trained hard all week and we were ready for the challenge. This was an incredible first Fed Cup experience for me as the captain and I look forward to many more to come.”

Andreescu has risen up the rankings at a remarkable pace early this season, winning 16 of 18 Tour-level matches, including the final at the Oracle Challenger in California two weeks ago for her first career title. She was 152nd in late December and started this week at No. 70.

Andreescu was competing in her eighth Fed Cup tie and improved her record to 10-3 in the competition with Sunday’s win. She also helped secure Canada’s victory over Ukraine last April by winning the decisive doubles rubber with Dabrowski.
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