A star is born. Bianca Andreescu ended Serena Williams’ fourth bid for a 24th Grand Slam title as she claimed the first of her own, stunning the home favourite 6-3, 7-5 in front of a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium to lift the biggest title of her career at the US Open. A quality match lasting and hour and 39 minutes of play, Andreescu overcame some late nerves to battle the crowd and ascend to the throne.
Williams was, once again, unable to produce her best tennis in the final of a Major as this marked her fourth consecutive loss in a Grand Slam final having lost eight consecutive sets in such matches. Chasing a record-breaking 24th Major title, Williams has fallen just before the final hurdle on multiple occasions as it seems like she was bounded by nerves and expectations, but the fact that she was able to reach the highest stage of tennis at the age of 37, soon to be 38, is inspiring to all young women around the world.
Andreescu had a breathtaking year, starting the year outside the top-100 and reaching her first tour-level final as a qualifier in Auckland. She won her first WTA titles in Indian Wells and Toronto and will now reach a new career-high ranking of five on Monday when the latest rankings are released, with her place at the year-end Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen all but confirmed.
Having not lost a completed match since March, Andreescu is riding on a 13-match winning streak ever since her comeback from a shoulder injury which kept her out of action for four months. One might wonder, how does she come back from an injury to win two big trophies? Well, that is Bianca Andreescu. And this will certainly not be her last Major trophy.
Calm and composed Andreescu snatches the tight first set
Andreescu, playing in her first Major final in just her third Grand Slam event, chose to receive and that proved to be the right choice as Williams threw in back-to-back double-faults to get broken in the opening game despite hitting some wonderful winners. Nerves seemed like nothing for the Canadian youngster, who proceeded to consolidate her break with some solid hitting.
Williams finally got onto the scoreboard, and she did it in some style with four huge winners. That hold seemed to send a warning signal but Andreescu certainly did not receive it. Another comfortable hold followed and Williams was unable to find any breakthroughs on the return for a lengthy period, missing multiple returns and falling short in rallies.
Andreescu attacked the second serves of Williams well and took the upper hand in the rallies as she surprisingly dictated play and overpowered the 23-time Major champion. She earned five break points in the seventh game, with the golden opportunity to extend her lead, but Williams was unwilling to let loose and produced some moments of magic during the crucial moments, roaring back into contention.
It seemed as though that was the turning point of the match as Williams started to get fired up, but failed to convert her only break point of the first set in the following game as Andreescu, nervelessly, served an ace to get herself out of trouble. The 19-year-old was just too good, and Williams faltered under the pressure as she once again double-faulted to give away her serve, but this time also conceding the first set 3-6 at the same time.
Andreescu overcomes rare nerves to claim maiden Slam
It was desperation time for Williams as Andreescu seemed unstoppable, as she marched towards yet another comfortable hold of serve to start the second set with. The American just could not find the court and fired four consecutive unforced errors to go down an early break. The first serve seemed to have disappeared and it looked like another defeat in a Major final ensued.
After multiple tries, Williams immediately broke back with the help of a lucky netcord although there were still patches of inconsistencies with her game. Andreescu kept her cool and exploited Williams’ poor footwork during the match, breaking serve twice to lead by a set and 5-1, and earning the chance to serve for her first Major title.
Despite owning a match point, nerves paralyzed her in what could be the first time it happened throughout her career. Williams took her chances and went big on the return, breaking straight back to stay alive. Things got interesting when the American, pushed by the supportive home crowd, returned level at 5-5 and Andreescu got increasingly frustrated with herself.
With everything going against her, Andreescu finally managed to stop the rout as she ultimately won the last two games of the match to seal the terrific 6-3, 7-5 win over the legendary Williams.