Bianca Andreescu on Saturday won the US Open after beating Serena Williams in straight sets at Flushing Meadows on Saturday.
The Canadian teenager survived a thrilling fightback from Williams to win 6-3 7-5, a result delivering her a first career Grand Slam title.
“I know you guys wanted Serena to win, so I’m so sorry,” Andreescu laughed during the trophy presentation.
“It’s so hard to explain in words. But I’m just beyond grateful and truly blessed. I’ve worked really really hard for this moment. I can’t complain — this year has been a dream come true. Being able to play on this stage against Serena, a true legend of this sport, is amazing.
“It wasn’t easy at all. I tried to prepare my best like I do every other match. I tried to step on the court and try not to focus on who I’m playing. I mean, that’s really easy to say. But I’m really proud with how I dealt with everything.”
Andreescu built a 6-3 5-1 lead and arrived at match point, only for Williams to win four straight games and whip the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd into a frenzy.
But a settling hold for 6-5 allowed Andreescu to stem the tide, and when she earned more match points in the 12th game on Williams’ serve, she made sure to take her chance.
There were 24 minutes between getting championship point and converting championship point. #USOpen
— Matt Roberts (@Roberts96Matt) September 7, 2019
She thumped a forehand winner up the line on her third match point to triumph in one hour and 39 minutes.
Andreescu adds the US Open title to her victories at Indian Wells and Toronto, continuing what has been a jaw-dropping break-out season.
She begun the year ranked outside the top 100 yet is now projected to enter the top five after becoming the first Canadian in history to win a Grand Slam singles title.
She is now 8-0 against top-10 opposition.
For all of you wondering what those words were after our 2nd round.. "Congrats girl. You can win this tournament here. Believe in it ok?" Very happy for @Bandreescu_ on winning her 1st (and trust me, not last) grand slam ???? https://t.co/N3O5SoI0GI
— Kirsten Flipkens (@FlipperKF) September 7, 2019
“Last year wasn’t an easy period in my life, I was going through a lot with injuries, but I persevered — I told myself to never give up,” Andreescu said.
“I had a really good pre-season with my amazing team; I thank you guys for sticking by me every step of the way. So I have to dedicate this win to all of you.
“I just kept believing in myself, kept working hard, and I just kept that momentum and confidence throughout this whole year. Hopefully I can keep going.
“Obviously it was expected for Serena to fight back. She’s done that so many times in the past — that’s why she’s a true champion on and off the court. But I just tried my best to block everything out. The last game wasn’t easy.”
For Williams, it is her fourth consecutive loss in a Grand Slam final, with all of those defeats coming in straight sets.
But this was the closest she came to forcing a third set in those four finals, all of which have come since her return to the sport as a mother.
She remains with 23 Grand Slam singles titles, one short of Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24.
“I was just fighting at that point — just trying to stay out there that little bit longer. Honestly the fans started cheering so hard, it just made me play a little bit better and fight a little bit more, so I was really grateful for that,” Williams said.
“Bianca played an unbelievable match. Congratulations. So proud and happy for you. It was incredible tennis out there, I wish I could have played better. If anyone could win this tournament — outside of Venus — I’m happy it’s Bianca (laughter).”
The Canadian was hardly overawed in the biggest match of her life, breaking Williams in the very first game and consolidating for a 2-0 lead.
Williams got on the board in the third game and appeared to be settling into the contest herself, laying the foundations for a simply phenomenal seventh game.
Serena was forced to save five break points — three of which she erased with winners — before she eventually held for 3-4 with a forehand winner, concluding a 10-minute game full of intensity and high quality shotmaking.
She celebrated with a fist pump, but it wasn’t the momentum swing she had hoped for; instead, Andreescu won seven of the next eight games to build a 6-3 5-1 lead.
Andreescu served brilliantly — landing an extremely high percentage of first serves, especially in the first set — and also returned strongly, landing her heavy shots deep in the court to take control of points.
Her weight of shot and speed around the court meant she hung in rallies with Williams — and frequently beat her with powerful blows.
As it did in the Wimbledon final, Williams’ game unravelled in errors and double faults in the second set, until the seventh game, when Andreescu served for the match.
Serena has double faulted to give away all three breaks today. This is not great!
Four errors in a row and it's 6-3 2-0 to Andreescu.
— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) September 7, 2019
Serena saved a match point, seemed to settle her nerves and find her range, and staged what looked to be a match-winning comeback.
At one point, Andreescu literally put her fingers in her ears to block out the rising crowd noise as Serena stormed back.
But showing brilliant composure, Andreescu held for a 6-5 lead to halt Williams’ momentum, and moved ahead 15-40 in the final game as more errors littered the American’s game.
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