The last woman to win a Grand Slam title in 2019 will be crowned on Saturday evening when Bianca Andreescu takes on Serena Williams in the final of the US Open in a packed out Arthur Ashe Stadium out in New York.
Serena Williams will go in search of a record equalling 24th Grand Slam title in this match but she will know she has lost her last three major finals. This is the first final of this kind for Bianca Andreescu but the signs are it won’t be the last.
Many people’s dark horse for the title before a ball was hit in the tournament was Bianca Andreescu and the Canadian has done nothing to suggest those who did believe that were wrong. She has been feisty and competitive throughout the tournament and mixed power and creativity in an admirable fashion. Any challenge that has been thrown at her has bounced off her with the utmost confidence and you get the impression he’ll be up for the challenge here.
We will need to see the best of Andreescu in this final but she is going along nicely. She hasn’t been beaten in a completed match since March and that kind of thing delivers confidence that no matter how bad the situation is there is a way out of them and we’ve seen that from her this week. Last year Naomi Osaka made her big breakthrough in this final and this is Andreescu’s chance.
Most people would have expected Serena Williams to have won major number 24 by now but there has been an element of her freezing on the big stage in her last three finals. That might be a little unfair at Wimbledon to be fair as Simona Halep played a couple of levels above even her best prior to that but Williams will have been favourite to win all three and that she hasn’t delivered in any of them will have created doubts.
That has to be balanced out though by saying that Serena has looked as good as ever in this tournament. Her movement has been spot on and pinpoint and her hitting has been crisp. There is no doubt that she goes into this final with the title on her racquet but we saw last year, and we’ve seen it before in New York, there is no guarantee that she’ll hold herself together on this big occasion with everyone expecting so much of her.
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Given that this is Andreescu’s breakthrough year these two have only met on one occasion and that was cut short. It came in the final in Toronto last month where Andreescu won the title courtesy of Serena having pulled out at 3-1 in the first set to the Canadian when her back went. I don’t think we can read a lot into what we saw in the four games in that match though so we don’t really have much previous history to go by in this final.
I have to think this is Serena Williams’ time. How comfortably she wins I would imagine is down to Andreescu and how she deals with the nerves which will be around but assuming she settles in nicely then I would imagine we may well get a third set and the deeper it goes perhaps the better the chance the Canadian will have.
Right from the first night of the tournament when Serena tore Maria Sharapova apart though, the American legend has looked like she knows this is her chance of history. She has blown Sharapova and Svitolina apart in this tournament and there is a chance she does the same to Andreescu to on this the biggest stage the Canadian will have played on. I’ll take Serena in straight sets.
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