Tennis fans across the world were treated to an historical US
Open Ladies final in the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York yesterday afternoon.
The “Veteran champion”, 37 year old Serena Williams of America, took on the “NextGen superstar”, 19 year old, Bianca Andreescu of Canada, in what turned out to be one hour and forty minutes of powerful tennis.
Williams, one of the greatest tennis players and the current Open Era record holder with 23 Grand Slam titles to her name, is still chasing the elusive 24th title to equal Margaret Court’s overall record.
Williams started this year’s US Open with an impressive 72 WTA career title wins, compared to Andreescu’s 2.
The players met for the first time, less than a month ago in the Rogers Cup (Canadian Open) final. Andreescu was leading 3-1 in the first set, when a distressed Williams was forced to retire with an upper back injury. Andreescu handled the situation with utmost respect towards the 3-time former champion and gave the tennis world a taste of what to look forward to.
Both were in great form going into yesterday’s final. Andreescu
had two tough three-set matches, whilst Williams was only pushed to the limits
by fellow American, Caty McNally in the second round.
With her tennis clock ticking, and in typical Big Apple style,
the stars turned up hoping to witness Williams bag another title.
Williams boasted a powerhouse box, which included husband and
internet entrepreneur, Alexis Ohanian, Oracene Price (Mom), Venus Williams
(sister), Patrick Mouratoglou (coach) other family members, Anna Wintour (“Queen”
of the Fashion world) and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
In contrast, the Andreescu box included Nicu and Maria Andreescu
(Bianca’s Romanian parents) and Sylvain Bruneau (coach). One notable absentee was her
now “celebrity” poodle, Coco, who has been in attendance for most of her
matches at this year’s US Open.
Andreescu drew first
blood by breaking Williams opening service game and then holding her own.
Williams sent out a strong warning during the third game. The players exchanged
shots at the net when Williams blasted a winner past her young opponent, much
to the delight of the partisan New York crowd.
to apply pressure, forcing a frustrated Williams to make a string of errors and
with her service game failing her, she served a double fault to lose the
her dominant form in the second set and soon found herself 5-1 up with a double
In the Williams box,
Oracene Price could hardly bare to watch, looking away and shaking her head and
Venus Williams, head buried in her hands, both I’m sure, praying for divine
On the other hand, Nicu
Andreescu was looking relaxed and Maria Andreescu, as we have come to know her,
hiding behind her dark glasses, giving nothing away.
But Williams, whose purple
Nike dress was now drenched in sweat, sensed her opponent’s maiden Grand Slam title
jitters and somehow clawed her way back to level the set at 5-5. The crowd was
on their feet, with husband Ohanian leading the charge.
It was however too
little, too late as Andreescu managed to hold serve and then belt a forehand
winner past Williams for a 6-3 7-5 victory and with it, become the first Canadian
tennis player to win a Grand Slam Singles title.
There were heaps of praise exchanged between the players, both during the on-court presentation and post-match interviews.
Andreescu will arise in New York today with a whole new world awaiting her.
As for Williams, she
will need to find the “inner” Serena that has won her twenty three Grand Slam
titles and work on that before the Australian Open in January next year.