Bianca Andreescu knew this would happen, because she knows all about Serena Williams. Looked up to her. Dreamed of playing her.
Andreescu knew Williams would not go quietly. Knew Williams would not make things easy. And so as a big lead in the US Open final dwindled on Saturday, as she stuffed fingers in her ears to drown out the decibels from the delirious thousands filling Arthur Ashe Stadium, Andreescu knew she needed to be just as bold, and hit just as big, as she did earlier in the match and as Williams has done for years.
Displaying the same brand of in-your-face tennis Williams seemed to invent, replete with strong serves, gutsy groundstrokes and “Come on!” cries, the 19-year-old Andreescu regained the upper hand and pulled out a 6-3, 7-5 victory at Flushing Meadows to win her first Grand Slam title and keep Williams from collecting a record-tying 24th.
What are the numbers all about?
Andreescu is the first woman in the Open era, which began in 1968, to win the championship in New York in her tournament debut; a year ago, she couldn’t even make it into the field, because she lost in the first round of qualifying. She is the first woman since Monica Seles in 1990 to lift the trophy in only her fourth Grand Slam tournament. She is the first player from Canada to win a Grand Slam singles title.
This is the second year in a row that serena has lost in the final at Flushing Meadows. This one had none of the controversy of 2018, when she got into an extended argument with the chair umpire while being beaten by Naomi Osaka.
Williams has now been the runner-up at four of the seven majors she has entered since returning to the tour. The American remains stuck on 23 Grand Slam singles titles, one shy of Margaret Court’s mark for the most.