Bianca Andreescu lifted her maiden Grand Slam title by beating Serena Williams in the 2019 US Open final in a thrilling final that saw the American nearly make a stunning comeback.
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The Canadian, who had come into the match on a 12-match winning streak which included a title win at the Rogers Cup and wins over Karolina Pliskova, Kiki Bertens, Caroline Wozniacki, Elise Mertens and Belinda Bencic before this, romped home in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 to grab the title in front of the partisan New York crowd.
It took Andreescu just one game to get into the match, breaking the Serena serve in the very first game of the match. Power-packed and responding to Serena’s groundstrokes like almost no other, Andreescu raced off to a 2-0 lead and then continued to hold serve to make it 3-0.
Williams held on in the next game, which was the scoreline at which she had retired from the Rogers Cup final against this Canadian opponent. There were no fitness issues here for Serena this time but her opponent continued to prove a difficult thorn to dislodge on her serve.
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And then the Canadian had another chance to break the former world number one. Some excellent returns from Andreescu levelled the seventh game at 30-30 before winning an eight-shot rally to get her first break-point of the game. Serena saved it and followed it up with saving four more on her own serve to finally win the game.
It was the kind of game that could have stirred the champion American player back into action but Andreescu proved too good for her, winning the next service game after saving a break-point and then breaking her for the second time to clinch the set.
The crowd tried its best to lift Serena’s mood, who was heard saying, “my serve is just not going.” She served at 50% in the first set, winning just seven of her 21 points on the second and to go with the plethora of unforced errors, it was a surprise she managed to push Andreescu any bit in that set.
The second set looked to be headed the same way when Andreescu broke the very first of Serena’s serves. That second game was symptomatic of her issues, with three unforced errors followed by a double-fault, handing the game over to her 15th seeded opponent on a platter.
This time though, Serena managed to get her break back, winning the third game on the Canadian’s serve but that was last game she would win for a while. Andreescu broke back again and then drilled home the advantage with a third break in the sixth game of the set to take what looked like a decisive 5-1 lead.
Andreescu had a match-point on her own serve, but showed some nerves, getting broken again and that was the start of a comeback from the 23-time Grand Slam champion. Serena raced off to a 40-0 lead on serve and while Andreescu got one back, the American held on to make it 5-3.
A visibly nervous Andreescu was then broken to love and while Serena had her own problems with her serve – she double-faulted twice more one her own serve – she levelled the set at 5-5.
Other mere mortals would have crumbled under the pressure of what looked like a choke but the Canadian held on to her serve and then rattled off to a 40-15 lead on Serena’s serve. Serena saved one of them but Bianca made it her maiden title with a powerful return off the next.
Rafael Nadal will take on Daniil Medvedev in the men’s singles final on Sunday.