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Canada’s Andreescu falls to 3rd-seeded Sabalenka in 3 sets at Stuttgart Open

Canada’s Bianca Andreescu was eliminated from the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Thursday after a 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 loss to third seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Sabalenka clinched the victory and advanced to the quarter-finals with her fifth converted break point in eight chances.

Andreescu responded well after being on the wrong end of a lopsided first set, but couldn’t complete the comeback. She had a break opportunity down 4-2 in the third set, but wasn’t able to convert.

Andreescu, from Mississauga, Ont., was playing in her first tournament since October. She announced late last year that she would sit out the start of the 2022 season to recover physically and mentally from a “challenging” two years.

The 21-year-old was victorious in her return to the court with a 7-6 (5), 6-3 win over Germany’s Jule Niemeier on Tuesday.

Andreescu entered Stuttgart ranked No. 121 in the world. She reached a career-high ranking of No. 4 in October 2019 after a breakout season in which she won the U.S. Open and high-profile events in Toronto and Indian Wells, Calif.

Sabalenka, ranked fourth, will next face the winner of a match between fifth seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia and Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova. Sabalenka’s triumph comes a day after she learned she will be barred from participating at Wimbledon when the Grand Slam is held in June.

The All England Club announced that players from Russia and Belarus will be barred from competing due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

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