A year after losing in the first round of qualifying at the US Open, 19-year-old Canadian Bianca Andreescu returned to the tournament as the 15th seed and defeated 23-time major champion Serena Williams 6-3 7-5 in the final which almost slipped through her hands as the experienced American recovered from 1-5 to 5-5 in the second set.
The match opened with error-prone Williams dropping serve and composed Andreescu strongly held on to that early-established lead with her powerful tennis and mental focus. In the ten-minute seventh game, Andreescu had a chance to go 5-2 up, but Williams saved five break points to hold to 3-4. The eighth-seeded Williams earned her first and only break point of the set in the following game, but Andreescu saved it with a daring ace and then broke for the set as Williams double-faulted on set point.
The world No.15 Andreescu raced to a 5-1 lead in the second set and earned a championship point on her own serve, but after failing to capitalize on it, we witnessed a major meltdown of the young Canadian of Romanian origin, as Arthur Ashe Stadium was loudly supporting her opponent who leveled to 5-5.
The 37-year-old Williams is famous for recovering from extremely unfavorable situations and as Andreescu froze after wasting that match point, it seemed that Williams could very well win a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title. Showing strength and courage, Andreescu regrouped and broke Williams’ serve one last time to make history on her third match point, in the championship match unique for having the largest gap in age between finalists in the Open Era (18 years and 263 days).
Andreescu, now boasting a 8-0 record against Top 10 players in 2019, is the first Canadian woman to win a Grand Slam title in the Open Era. Imagine, this time last year she was ranked No.208 and this was only her fourth major main-draw appearance. The six-time US Open champion Williams has now lost her fourth straight Grand Slam final, under pressure to tie Margaret Court’s all-time major title haul of 24.
Besides Williams, Andreescu’s victims en route to the US Open 2019 title included American wildcard Katie Volynets in the first round, Belgian Kirsten Flipkens in the second, seed No.19 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the third, American qualifier Talyor Townsend in the fourth, Belgian seed No.25 Elise Mertens in the quarterfinals and seed No.13 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in the semis.
During her maiden Grand Slam title run, Andreescu rocked new NikeCourt separates inspired by the walls of New York City: the Nike Fall Slam NY Tank and Nike Fall Slam NY Skirt. The teen’s footwear of choice is the Nike Air Zoom Zero model.