September 7, 2019
Bianca Andreescu has fulfilled her Grand Slam potential at the tender age of 19 to leave Serena Williams frustrated yet again.
The youngster lay on the hard, blue court, head in hands, trying to grasp the enormity of the moment.
Canada has its very first Grand Slam singles champion. For Serena, fresh heartbreak.
No record-equalling 24th major for Williams. A fourth final where the weight of history hung too heavily in the air.
To Serena’s credit, she did launch an incredible comeback when she was 1-5 and match point down. But ultimately the damage had already been done.
Despite her late bravery and the cacophony of noise it created, Williams could only turn the tide for a while. Andreescu won 6-3, 7-5 and deservedly so.
She held her nerve when she might have crumbled. It was the so-called underdog who showed her strength of character.
At WDH we did say Andreescu would win if she settled early. We warned that Serena would need to shake off her nerves and unleash the inner warrior from the start.
Serena was the one who didn’t settle. She double-faulted twice to hand Bianca her first break. And Williams double-faulted once more to give up the first set.
In sharp contrast, Andreescu played like she had been starring in Grand Slam finals all her life.
In fact she had never previously had a significant adventure at a major at all. She was winning barely $3,000 in prize money at a tournament in Oklahoma only last year. She was ranked 208 a year ago. What a climb to glory in 2019!
But there is something about Bianca and her steely confidence. Something about the maturity with which she comforted Serena a few weeks ago when the American had to quit their match early with back spasms in Toronto.
Andreescu knows she belongs at the top. Her serving in the first set was irresistible. And when she had less first-serve success in the second, she preyed on Serena’s self-doubt and found other ways to get the job done.
‘This year has been a dream come true,’ Bianca said. ‘I am beyond grateful and truly blessed. I’ve worked really hard for this moment. To play on this stage against Serena – a true legend of the sport – is amazing.’
Serena said graciously: ‘Bianca played an unbelievable match. I’m so proud and happy for you. It was incredible tennis out there.’
Meanwhile Britain’s Jamie Murray and his partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands became the first pair to defend their mixed doubles title at the US Open for 37 years. They defeated Chan Hao Ching and Michael Venus 6-2, 6-3.
It was the third time in succession that Murray had won the title. ‘We played amazing the whole two weeks,’ Murray said. ‘We’ve had so much fun on court. I’m really, really happy to win again.’
But victory must have been even sweeter for Bianca Andreescu against the legendary Serena.