Bianca Andreescu won the women's title at the 2019 U.S. Open after beating Serena Williams in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 on Saturday. The 19-year-old got off to a fast start at Flushing Meadows in New York and frustrated Williams in her bid for a 24th Grand Slam title.
To her credit, Williams rallied from 5-1 down in the second set to level at 5-5 after winning three break points in a row. It was as close as Williams got, though, with Andreescu taking the next two games to win her first Grand Slam prize on her U.S. Open main draw debut.
Attention will now turn to the men's final on Sunday, where another upstart player could be primed to produce an upset against a marquee name when Daniil Medvedev meets three-time winner Rafael Nadal.
Before then, Andreescu will naturally savour the moment after condemning Williams to defeat in the final for a second year running. Andreescu started the match in determined fashion and in no mood to waste time as she raced into a 4-1 lead.
The Canadian's backhand had been giving Williams plenty of problems:
Williams' case also wasn't helped by an uncharacteristic penchant for self-imposed mistakes:
Those errors put Andreescu in firm control of the set, even after her decorated opponent reduced the gap to 4-3. Andreescu took the next two games to close things out and began the next set in a similar fashion.
Williams was finding it difficult to hold serve:
The tables were soon turned, though, with the 37-year-old going on the attack:
Williams' comeback had the crowd in raucous voice, but Andreescu showed a calmness belying her younger years by regaining her composure at the crucial moment.
Medvedev Will Win the First Set
Medvedev has continued his productive form this calendar year by reaching another final. It hasn't been an easy ride, though, with the Russian being pushed to a fourth set on four separate occasions.
Each time he answered the challenge, beating Hugo Dellien, Feliciano Lopez, Dominik Koepfer and Stan Wawrinka. The pattern of needing a fourth set will continue against Nadal after Medvedev takes the opener on Sunday.
He's established a controlled and efficient game boosted by a strong serve. Medvedev's error-free and patient style has been frustrating his opponents into mistakes.
The straight-sets win over Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-final on Friday was a prime example. Dimitrov hit 39 winners compared to Medvedev's 22, but the Bulgarian was guilty of 46 unforced errors.
Medvedev will do enough to stymie the Nadal forehand early and edge his way to a win in the first set.
Nadal Will Claim 19th Grand Slam Title
He may fall behind after one, but Nadal will soon regain his composure to ultimately power his way to a 19th Grand Slam honour. The Spaniard has refined his playing style and gotten better with age:
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Rafael Nadal has a chance to become the first man in the Open Era to win five major titles after his 30th birthday. He would also join Jimmy Connors (1982-83) as the only men in that time to win multiple US Opens after turning 30 in the Open Era. https://t.co/hsxRQTdd3r
Nadal knows how to set and manipulate the pace on these hard courts better than any player. He's also made a habit of delivering in the clutch, particularly during the semi-final win over Matteo Berrettini.
The first set appeared to be going the Italian's way on Friday before Nadal rescued a pair of set points and survived a tiebreak. Even though Berrettini hit more aces and winners, Nadal made only 18 unforced errors compared to his opponent's 44.
Count on Nadal keeping his cool when it counts on Sunday and denying Medvedev the title.
Prediction: Nadal wins 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.