Teenager Bianca Andreescu became Canada’s first Grand Slam singles champion Saturday with a rollercoaster 6-3, 7-5 win over 23-time major champion Serena Williams in the US Open final.
The 19-year-old Andreescu became the youngest Grand Slam winner since Svetlana Kuznetsova at the 2004 US Open, handing Williams a fourth consecutive defeat in the final of a major to again deny her a record-equaling 24th Slam title.
“It’s so hard to explain in words but I’m just beyond grateful and truly blessed. I’ve worked really, really hard for this moment,” said Andreescu, who had won just two Grand Slam matches ahead of her US Open main draw debut.
She improved her record over top-10 opponents this season to 8-0 and will rise to a career-high ranking of fifth on Monday.
“This year has been a dream come true. Being able to play on this stage against Serena, a true legend of the sport, is amazing.
“It wasn’t easy at all. I tried to prepare my best like I do every match, I tried not to focus on who I’m playing. I’m really proud of how I dealt with everything.”
Her triumph at Flushing Meadows capped a remarkable 12 months for 15th seed Andreescu, who was ranked outside the top 200 this time last year after falling short in US Open qualifying for the second season in a row.
“Last year wasn’t an easy period in my life with injuries but I persevered and told myself not to give up,” she said.
“I just keep telling myself keep working hard and keep the momentum. Hopefully I can keep going.”
Andreescu tied Monica Seles, who lifted the 1990 Roland Garros trophy in her fourth major, for the record as the fastest player to win her first Slam title in the Open era.
Williams, 37, suffered a second finals loss in a row at Flushing Meadows, after a 2018 defeat against Naomi Osaka best remembered for a furious tirade against chair umpire Carlos Ramos.
“Bianca played an unbelievable match, I am so proud and happy for you. It was incredible tennis out there. If anyone could win this, outside of Venus, I’m happy it’s Bianca,” Williams said.
Appearing in a 33rd Grand Slam final, and fourth since the last of her 23 major titles, Williams made an inauspicious start at Arthur Ashe Stadium by conceding her opening service game with successive double faults.
“I was just fighting at that point, just trying to stay out there a little bit longer,” said Williams, feeding off the energy of 24,000 cheering fans as she briefly sparked hopes of an incredible comeback.
“The fans started cheering so hard it made me start playing a little bit better and fighting a little bit more.”
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