NEW YORK, September 7, 2019 (by Michael Dickens)
Bianca Andreescu wasn’t even born when Serena Williams won the first of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles at the United States Open in 1999. On Saturday, in the same Arthur Ashe Stadium that Williams won her first Grand Slam singles title at age 17, the grand dame of women’s tennis faced the fast-rising, 19-year-old Canadian teenager with the fearless demeanor. Andreescu was playing in her first major final and was just the third woman to reach the US Open final in her debut.
Andreescu’s breakthrough season, which included lifting trophies at Indian Wells and Toronto, continued as she stunned Williams, 6-3, 7-5, to earn her first Grand Slam title. She won on her third championship-point opportunity and got the job done in one hour and 40 minutes. It improved her record against Top 10 players to 8-0.
Pure bliss 😍
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 7, 2019
Asked to sum up her feelings during the trophy ceremony, Andreescu said: “It’s so hard to explain in words. I’m beyond grateful and truly blessed. I’ve worked so hard for this moment. It’s a dream come true. To play against (and beat) Serena, a true legend of this sport, is amazing.”
The match came down to who could handle the pressure the most and on this day it was Andreescu. She hit 19 winners to 17 unforced errors and broke Williams six times in 13 opportunities. Although she hit 33 winners, Williams was undone by an inability to get her first serve in consistently. She finished with eight double faults and 33 unforced errors.
Williams thanked the largely supportive crowd that rallied behind her in defeat. “You guys have been so amazing to me these past two weeks, thank you very much,” she said. “I was fighting and trying to stay out there a lot longer. I wish I could have fought some more.”
Then, Williams turned to Andreescu and said, “Bianca played an unbelievable match. I’m so happy for you.”
Williams, who was playing in her fourth Grand Slam final since giving berth to her daughter, Olympia, two years ago, was vying for a record-tying 24th major title that would have matched Margaret Court’s all-time record that’s stood since 1973.
Instead, Andreescu’s improbable victory made her the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title. She won it in her first U.S. Open – and did it after losing in the first round of qualifying the last two years. And, in beating the 37-year-old Williams, Andreescu became the first player born in the 2000s to win a major title as well as the youngest to win a major since Svetlana Kuznetsova won the 2004 US Open.
Historic mixed doubles repeat for Murray and Mattek-Sands
Jamie Murray and Bethanie Mattek-Sands needed a wild card just to be able to defend their US Open mixed doubles title. In the end, they made the most of their opportunity. Murray from Great Britain and Mattek-Sands of the United States beat top seeds and 2017 finalists Hao-Ching Chan of Taiwan and Michael Venus from New Zealand, 6-2, 6-3.
Not since Kevin Curren of South Africa and Anne Smith of the United States in 1981-82 has a team defended a US Open mixed doubles title. Murray also became the first man in the Open Era to win three straight US Open mixed doubles titles. He won in New York in 2017 with Martina Hingis of Switzerland. The win represented his fifth Grand Slam mixed doubles title and it was the third for Mattek-Sands.
“We played amazing the whole two weeks, especially the semifinals and finals,” said Murray, during the team’s post-match press conference. “I know Beth loves playing in front of a lot of people and she was on fire today.”
For Mattek-Sands, it was her first Grand Slam title since undergoing a second knee surgery in February following her horrific 2017 injury at Wimbledon.
“It’s a journey. That’s why I enjoy these moments so much. You don’t know what’s going to happen next week, next year,” said Mattek-Sands.
“I fell in love with tennis again, so I appreciate the competition, I appreciate the stadium matches.
“For me, I’ve been here three weeks, since before quallies. I had such a great team here. It’s those moments that it’s about. Obviously the trophy ceremonies, they’re amazing, will always be remembered.”
Sunday’s order of play
At Arthur Ashe Stadium
Women’s doubles final, 1 p.m.
No. 8 Victoria Azarenka/Ashleigh Barty vs. No. 4 Elise Mertens/Aryna Sabalekna
Men’s singles final, 4 p.m.
No. 5 Daniil Medvedev vs. No. 2 Rafael Nadal