Bianca Andreescu of Canada celebrates a point against Anett Kontaveit of Estonia during their round three match of the BNP Paribas Open, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, in Indian Wells, Calif.
- Bianca Andreescu meets lucky loser Nuria Parrizas Diaz, in the second round of the Italian Open Wednesday
- The match should begin around 9 am ET – slotted way down to Court 3 with so much star power in action
- Andreescu is the solid favorite to take it; we break down the match and make some predictions
The first-ever instalment of Andreescu vs Parrizas Diaz owes everything to the Spaniard being the luckiest of lucky losers this week at the Italian Open.
Andreescu vs Parrizas Diaz Odds
|[PR] Bianca Andreescu (CAN)||-4.5 (-148)||-435||O 19.5 (-120)|
|[LL] Nuria Parrizas Diaz (ESP)||+4.5 (+116)||+325||U 19.5 (-107)|
Odds as of May 10 at Barstool Sportsbook
The 30-year-old career is already an unlikely, late-blooming success. She finally arrived in the top 50 earlier this year. And that was barely two years after she finally broke into the top 200 at age 28 – 14 years after her first professional match.
That’s determination. Or lunacy.
Here’s another one of those cool “late bloomer out of nowhere” stories.
Nuria Parrizas Diaz has 20 career iTF titles doing back to 2013.
Three of them this year.
NONE of them above the $25K level.
— Stephanie Myles (@OpenCourt) April 7, 2021
Parrizas Diaz a Lucky, Lucky Loser in Rome
Parrizas Diaz was the No. 4 seed in the Italian Open qualifying. And despite winning the first set easily and being a tiebreak away from qualifying for the main draw, she lost to No. 11 seed Kaja Juvan.
Her first bit of luck came when she squeezed into the draw as a lucky loser, after the late withdrawal of former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka.
Her second stroke of good fortune – the counterpart to her opponents’ bad luck – came when she played countrywoman Sara Sorribes Tormo in the first round.
Sorribes was way up in the match: 6-1 in the first set and serving at 4-3, 30-love. But she was clearly struggling, doing little more than lobbing her serve in.
Official reason for Sara Sorribes Tormo’s retirement: left upper back injury.
Nuria Parrizas-Diaz advances to 2R and will face Bianca Andreescu. #IBI22
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 10, 2022
Just six points away from the win, Sorribes Tormo lost three consecutive points in that game, and just up and retired.
That gave Parrizas Diaz the opportunity to face Andreescu for the first time in their careers.
Andreescu Dominant vs Injured Raducanu
As is too often the case, a highly-anticipated matchup ended up being a dud.
The 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu drew the 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu in the first round.
Both, as it happened, were born in the Toronto, Ontario area and both have Romanian fathers. Both also won their first major title as teenagers.
But both also have struggled with injuries ever since.
On Tuesday, Raducanu’s lingering back injury proved more than she could manage. After going off court for treatment just before Andreescu served for the first set at 5-2, she was broken for 1-2 in the second set.
The trainer came out, which is generally the protocol, but only to put the rubber stamp on Raducanu’s retirement.
Andreescu vs Parrizas Diaz Head-to-Head
|21 (June 16, 2000)||Age||30 (July 15, 1991)|
|Mississauga, Canada||Birthplace||Granada, Spain|
|3||Career WTA Singles Titles||0|
|No. 4 (Oct. 21, 2019)||Career High Ranking||No. 45 (March 7, 2022)|
|No. 90||Current Ranking||No. 51|
|$7,646,337||Career Prize Money||$751,169|
|4-2||2022 Won/Loss record||11-9|
|0||Career Head to Head||0|
Andreescu Should Win on Talent and Experience
The only thing these two have in common is that for both, it’s a first appearance at the Italian Open.
Beyond that, Andreescu is stronger in every single category.
There also is the fact that Parrizas Diaz has already used up her quota of luck (let’s not call her a jinx at this point). And she will – despite her best intentions – be pretty happy that she’s into the second round when she thought she was headed home after the qualifying.
Best match of year for Bianca Andreescu: “It’s definitely up there. Also my match with Danielle Collins in Madrid was very good. In my opinion, ‘very good’ for me is defined by consistency, effort, execution.” #IBI22
— TennisNow (@Tennis_Now) May 10, 2022
Andreescu showed the biggest flashes of her fighting spirit since her dream season in 2019 on Tuesday. She was pumped.
But she will have to guard against a letdown. And also not take for granted that she’ll be into the third round.
The Canadian also will have to process that a lot of her good play vs both Collins in Madrid and Raducanu Tuesday was intertwined with her opponent’s very poor play.
Andreescu was way down the list of pre-tournament favorites. But there aren’t more than one or two ahead of her who have been consistent performers. There’s space. And that’s another reason not to get too ahead of herself.
Parrizas Diaz is a straightforward groundstroker, solid but without a big weapon that Andreescu needs to be wary of.
As a result, she can simply execute her game freely. It will be too good on the day – barring any more Parrizas-Diaz good fortune.
Best Bet: Andreescu in Two Sets (-115)
Stephanie gets the straight dope from the tennis insiders. On court, she has represented her country internationally. A BA in journalism led to years on the MLB beat and a decade covering tennis globally. She’s written for Postmedia, the Guardian, the New York Times and also publishes OpenCourt.ca.