Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 September 2019

US Open: Bianca Andreescu stuns Serena Williams to become Canada's first grand slam champion

Andreescu, 19, claims maiden major title with 6-3, 7-5 victory

Bianca Andreescu kisses the US Open trophy after beating Serena Williams in the women's final. Reuters
Bianca Andreescu kisses the US Open trophy after beating Serena Williams in the women's final. Reuters

Bianca Andreescu announced herself as the new sensation of women's tennis after the Canadian teenager stunned Serena Williams to clinch her first grand slam title the US Open on Saturday.

In doing so Andreescu, 19, became her country's first grand slam champion, and the first teenager to win a major since Maria Sharapova 13 years ago.

Her achievement is even more remarkable considering that she failed to even qualify for the tournament last year and had never gone beyond the second round of a grand slam.

“Last year wasn't an easy period in my life, I was going through a lot with injuries,” said Andreescu following her 6-3, 7-5 victory over American Williams.

“I just kept believing in myself I kept working hard and I just kept that momentum and confidence.”

Despite her inexperience, world No 15 Andreescu arrived at Flushing Meadows with many expecting big things from her.

"You're never going to have ups all the time," she said Andreescu. "So I think in those moments, you just have to deal with it the best that you can, which is to just keep fighting for your dreams and just stay as persistent and persevere as much as you can.

"I think it builds you as a character."

For Williams it meant the elusive 24th grand slam title that would take her level with Margaret Court's record still eludes her. The American, who turns 38 next month, has reached four of six grand slam finals (Wimbledon 2018, 2019; US Open 2018, 2019) since giving birth two years ago, yet didn’t win any of them.

Not only did Williams lose all four finals - she failed to win a single set. The next time Williams can attempt to equal Court's record at the Australian Open in January will be 38.

But a defiant Williams refused to accept there would not be another grand slam in her future.

"All of it honestly, truly is super frustrating," said Williams. "I'm, like, so close, so close, so close, yet so far away.

"I don't know what to say. I guess I got to keep going if I want to be a professional tennis player.

"And I just got to just keep fighting through it.

"I'm not necessarily chasing a record. I'm just trying to win grand slams.

"It's definitely frustrating. I'm still doing what I can do."

Williams had 33 winners but just as many unforced errors. She hit nine aces but misfired eight double faults and hit only 44 per cent of her first serves. She dropped 30 of 43 points on her second serve.

"I believe I could have played better. I believe I could have done more. I believe I could have just been more Serena today," Williams said.

"I honestly don't think Serena showed up. I have to kind of figure out how to get her to show up in grand slam finals."

Andreescu will break into the top five when the rankings are released Monday after her remarkable breakthrough run at Flushing Meadows, where she scooped a winner's cheque for an eye-watering $3.85 million (Dh14 million), taking her 2019 earnings to over $6 million. She started the year with career winnings of just $215,888.

Andreescu, just the second Canadian woman to play in a grand slam final after 2014 Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard, reiterated her commitment to serving as an inspiration for aspiring athletes back home.

"I've said this many, many times before. I'm going to say it again. It's been a goal of mine to inspire many people, especially Canadian athletes," Andreescu, born in the Toronto suburbs to Romanian parents, said.

"I think that this win will hopefully do that, not only this win but just what I've accomplished this past year because so many Canadian athletes have paved the way for me when I was young. Hopefully I can be that person to them."

Updated: September 8, 2019 10:38 AM

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