Serena Williams again suffered disappointment in the U.S. Open final on Saturday after Bianca Andreescu beat the American 6-3, 7-5 to win her maiden major in New York.
Andreescu, 19, had never so much as featured in the third round of a major prior to this competition, but she toppled the six-time U.S. Open winner in straight sets to open her Grand Slam account in slick style.
Williams was at the centre of controversy in last year's U.S. Open final defeat to Naomi Osaka and earned fines for her outbursts, but the loss to Andreescu passed with nowhere near the same level of protest.
Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times and writer Chris Goldsmith underlined what's been a relentless few months for breakthrough star Andreescu:
Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg
Continuing a stunning and meteoric rise, 19-y.o. Canadian Bianca Andreescu is the 2019 #USOpen champion, hanging on even as things went awry to outlast an adrift Serena Williams. 6-3, 7-5. Andreescu has not lost since March, and is 8-0 against the Top 10. Utterly unreal.
The 37-year-old—almost twice her opponent's age—dominated the likes of Elina Svitolina and Qiang Wang in the run-up to Saturday's final but looked way off the pace for most of the Flushing Meadows final.
Williams gathered herself from 5-1 down in the second set and fought back to parity, but Andreescu rediscovered her sway to nudge easily her greatest career win so far across the line.
By beating Williams, Andreescu became the first Canadian—woman or man—to lift the U.S. Open trophy, per TSN:
Williams already set an Open Era record by reaching her 10th U.S. Open final in 2019, but the pressure of tying level with Margaret Court on 24 Grand Slam titles appeared to take its toll at times.
Andreescu has rarely encountered this level of opposition in her career but rose to the adversity magnificently, per TSN's Mark Masters:
The crowd appeared almost hesitant to believe what they were witnessing at Arthur Ashe Stadium when Andreescu won the first set in quite such confident fashion.
Plenty in attendance were surely happy to see the younger star thrive under the spotlight, though there's no question it was Serena whose victorious points were drawing far greater applause.
In contrast, one could almost hear a pin drop in New York on most of Andreescu's major points, though that didn't deter the youngster, said reporter Arash Madani:
Andreescu had clearly done her homework and countered some of Williams' habits well, such as capitalising upon her tendency not to cover the line when she approaches the net.
The second set started off as one-sided as any other portion of the match, and George Bellshaw of Metro commented how Williams appeared not to be learning her lessons following a second double-fault of the match:
There was a moment at 6-3, 4-1 when Williams appeared to stop altogether in the midst of a rally having been disappointed with one of her returns, evidence her motivation had been all but drained.
Tennis writer Carole Bouchard illustrated the extent of her capitulation on the big stage:
The consensus was that Andreescu looked to be moving at a different pace to her opponent on the day:
Williams looked dejected, disinterested and demotivated for a large patch of the second set, but she engineered a comeback at 5-1 down that reminded her fans of the talent she packs.
She tore back onto the hard court and broke Andreescu three times in four service games to pull level, a feat that seemed to only heighten appreciation of the future Hall of Famer:
Williams has finished as runner-up at both the U.S. Open and Wimbledon for the second year in succession, and again people will be talking about her final in New York for all the wrong reasons.
Andreescu marks the beginning of her Grand Slam career with a historic victory, meanwhile, cementing a win that promises to act as a springboard for the Canadian prospect.