Angelique Kerber, a 31-year-old three-time major champion, couldn’t stomach losing to Bianca Andreescu, a prodigious 18-year-old, twice in one week. The first encounter was a gutting three-set loss to the wild card in the Indian Wells final; on Saturday, it was another three-set loss in the third round of the Miami Open, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1. Although Kerber won Wimbledon last year, that did not guarantee that she’d maintain the moral high ground when dealing with a teenager.
Seven games into the Miami match, Andreescu took a medical timeout to get treatment on the right arm injury that had dogged her through Indian Wells. The No.8 seed Kerber seemed uneasy and out of sorts during the fairly long break, as her coach Rainer Schuettler tried to give her a German pep talk.
The unexpected intermission might have been the main thing that miffed Kerber in an otherwise unremarkable match, but, obviously, players are entitled to mid-match treatment when they need it. After getting routed in the third set, Kerber offered the gruffest of handshakes and told Andreescu, “You’re the biggest drama queen ever.”
In all likelihood, Kerber was just frustrated to take a second straight loss to an upstart with a more inventive and explosive game, but this beef now sits firmly on the grill and should be monitored in future matchups. If Andreescu was seeking some mentorship from one of the top players of the past generation, all she got was a fistful of salt. The Canadian might not need the guidance anyway: That’s her 10th straight win, and she’s 28-3 on the season.