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Andreescu drops Libema Open final in three sets to Samsonova


'S-HERTOGENBOSCH, Netherlands — Bianca Andreescu lost a hard-fought Libema Open women's final Sunday in three sets to Liudmila Samsonova in the grass-court Wimbledon tune-up.

Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., fell 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 to the second-seeded Samsonova, who had to finish her rain-interrupted semifinal earlier in the day.

"It's upsetting, but I know there are good things coming for me," Andreescu said.

She played her second tournament since she was sidelined for nine months with a back injury.

"For me, this is definitely a step forward," Andreescu said. "I've been through a lot for quite some time, especially the last 10 months."

Her record in 2024 is 6-2. Andreescu, who turned 24 on Sunday, was looking for her first victory since winning the 2019 U.S. Open.

Samsonova doubled up on winners with 36 to Andreescu's 18.

The Canadian took advantage of Samsonova's slow start to break twice in the opening set. Samsonova countered in the second set to break Andreescu for a 3-0 lead and forced a deciding set.

Andreescu took an off-court medical timeout early in the third set and returned with her upper left leg taped.

Samsonova led by an early break, but Andreescu leveled at 4-4 and saved three break points to hold and lead 5-4.

But after a dominant hold, Samsonova broke Andreescu again and served out the win in a match that lasted two hours 23 minutes.

Andreescu had defeated four-time Grand Slam title winner Naomi Osaka in a three-sets quarterfinal victory.

She beat Hungarian qualifier Dalma Galfi in straight sets in the semifinal Saturday to reach her first final since 2022.

Samsonova led her Saturday semifinal 6-3, 6-7 (1) against Ekaterina Alexandrova when it was suspended by rain. Samsonova took the third set 6-1 to advance.

She won her fifth WTA Tour title and second on grass after claiming her first in 2021 in Berlin.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 16, 2024.