The kid is alright.
Bianca Andreescu became the first player born in the 2000s to win a Grand Slam title on Saturday as the Canadian 19-year-old hung on to defeat 23-time major champion Serena Williams 6-3, 7-5 and hoist the US Open trophy.
“I was feeling many, many things before the match, more than any other match. In the finals, playing Serena. I just tried to breathe as much as I could from the moment I woke up until the match,” said Andreescu. “I tried to just do that throughout the whole match, to just keep my nerves in place. It wasn’t easy at all. But I think that’s what I’ve been doing really well throughout the whole year.”
Both Andreescu and Serena came out slugging in the final and it resulted in highly-entertaining tennis between two of the more powerful players on tour. Despite any nerves she may have felt, it didn’t show in the opening set as the teenager broke Williams in her opening service game, and consolidated it with a hold, thanks to a Williams double-fault, to open up the early advantage.
As Williams aimed to serve and stay in the set at 3-5, Andreescu would break one more time, again helped out by a double-fault, to capture the opening set.
Andreescu continued to pounce on the American’s serve, breaking to open up the second set en route to building a commanding 5-1 lead, and an opportunity to serve for the championship. But that is when those nerves seemed to kick in, with the gravity of what she was on the verge of accomplishing squarely on her mind.
Williams would get one of the breaks back, and held serve to put the pressure back on Andreescu to serve out the match at 5-3. Once again, Andreescu was unable to do so and Williams broke once more and held, to even the set at 5-5 much to the delight of the Arthur Ashe crowd.
“It definitely wasn’t easy, especially when she started coming back in the second set,” Andreescu said of keeping her composure. “I mean, it was expected. She’s a champion. That’s what champions do. She’s done that many, many times throughout her career. But I just tried to stay as composed as I could. It’s hard to just block everything out.”
But Andreescu would demonstrate the fighter she has shown herself to be all-tournament long, as well as all-season long, and secured the key hold to open up a 6-5 lead and force Williams to force a tiebreaker on her serve.
After setting up a couple of championship points, Andreescu took advantage of a get-me-over second serve from Serena and ripped a forehand winner down the line to seal the victory, and claim the US Open trophy.
“I’ve been dreaming of this moment for the longest time,” said Andreescu on stage during the trophy ceremony. “After I won the Orange Bowl, a couple of months later, I really believed that I could be at this stage. Since then, honestly, I’ve been visualizing it almost every single day. For it to become a reality is just so crazy. I guess the visualizations really, really work.”
As a result, Andreescu, who wasn’t even born yet when Williams won her first US Open title, takes home $3.85 million in prize money and climbs inside the top 5 in the world rankings.
For Williams, it puts the record-tying 24th Grand Slam title on hold once more as she has lost in the four major finals she’s played in since giving birth to her daughter two years ago.
“Bianca played an unbelievable match…it was incredible tennis out there,” she said. “I just wish I could have played better.”