If Bianca Andreescu was at all humbled or overwhelmed by the circumstances before her in Saturday afternoon’s U.S. Open final, she had a funny way of showing it.
Her match against Serena Williams had been billed as a clash of generations: 38-year-old Williams, the accomplished veteran; 19-year-old Andreescu, the rising star. This was Andreescu’s first Grand Slam final appearance, Williams’s 33rd. When Williams won her first U.S. Open title in 1999, Andreescu was not yet born.
But Andreescu’s exquisite marriage of style and power, and her devastating forehand, trumped experience. In her U.S. Open debut, the 19-year-old Canadian bested Serena Williams in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 to take home her first Grand Slam title.
Andreescu took the lead quickly, breaking early in the first two sets. Williams’s first serve—usually nothing to worry about—disappointed all match.
At match point in the second set, down 5-1, Williams broke to begin an electric run, winning four straight games to tie the set. But Andreescu rallied to win the next two, avoiding a second set tiebreak.
The two last met in August at the Rogers Cup final in Toronto, but Williams retired down 1-3 in the first set after 19 minutes, citing back spasms.