Former grand slam champion Bianca Andreescu has been bundled out of the second round of the Australian Open after a dramatic implosion against little-known Spaniard, Cristina Bucsa. Andreescu squandered a match point chance in a topsy-turvy second set before going down in three sets against the World No.100 on Wednesday night.
Andreescu - the 2019 US Open champion - was impressive in the first set but unravelled spectacularly after that before going down 6-2, 6-7, 4-6. The Canadian had a golden chance to set up a third round clash against World No.1 Iga Swiatek but failed to convert a match point at 6-5 up in the second set tiebreak, having staged a stunning comeback from 5-1 down in the set.
'TOUGH TO WATCH': Nadal's wife in tears amid sad scenes in Melbourne
'IT'S DIFFICULT': Rafa Nadal's brutal admission after Aus Open heartbreak
Bucsa - who has never played in the third round of a grand slam before - took advantage of her opponent's increasingly erratic shot-making to send the match into a deciding third set, where she kept the momentum going to send the Canadian packing.
Andreescu's shock defeat was highlighted by a worrying unforced error count that saw her gift the Spaniard with 47 free points over the final two sets, having only conceded six unforced errors in the opening set. The 22-year-old's shocking decline proved hard to watch for fans.
Cristina Bucsa sets up showdown against Iga Swiatek
Bucsa's reward for the upset victory is a third round clash with World No.1 Swiatek, who advanced to the last 32 with a resounding 6-2 6-3 victory over Colombian Camila Osorio. The Pole was joined in the next round by third seed Jessica Pegula, sixth seed Maria Sakkari and 10th seed Madison Keys - who all prevailed earlier in the day.
American teen sensation Coco Gauff also booked her place in the next round after a thrilling 6-3 7-6 victory over another former major winner, Emma Raducanu. The 18-year-old American proved too strong for the British star, despite being pushed by the 2021 US Open champion in the second set.
The British number one, ranked 70 places below Gauff, grew into the match and was the better player late in the second set but was unable to take two set points. Although she is more than a year younger than her rival, Gauff's superior experience showed as she rose to the occasion when needed.
Gauff’s thumping serve proved key to her victory over Raducanu, who is yet to make it past the second round of a grand slam since her historic US Open triumph as a qualifier. Gauff will next face either Zheng Qinwen or Bernarda Pera in the third round, with the winner advancing to the Round of 16.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.