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2019 US Open: Women's singles final

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Roar Guru
6th September, 2019
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And then there were two.

History will be made in the US Open women’s final when Bianca Andreescu and Serena Williams go head-to-head for the last of the women’s Grand Slam trophies on Sunday morning (AEST).

Either Williams will, at last, equal the record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles held by Margaret Court, or Andreescu will become the first player born this century to win a Grand Slam singles title.

Apart from dropping the first set in her second round match against Caty McNally, the 37-year-old American has been ruthless in her run to the final, including crushing Maria Sharapova in the first round and fifth seed Elina Svitolina in the semi-finals.

In the twelve of thirteen sets she has won, she has lost no more than four games in each set, highlighting the gap between her and the opposition she has faced in reaching her tenth US Open final and 33rd Major final.

While the stakes couldn’t be any higher for Williams, Andreescu is bidding to break new ground, hoping to become the first player born this century to win a Major title.

The 19-year-old Canadian has been a revelation on the WTA Tour this season, becoming the first wildcard to win Indian Wells as well as the first player from her country in half a century to win the prestigious Rogers Cup last month.

In the latter, she triumphed when Serena Williams was forced to retire down 1-3 in the first set, citing back spasms. It wasn’t the way Andreescu wanted to win her second career title, especially in front of all of her home fans.

Earlier, she suffered a serious shoulder injury which forced her to withdraw from the French Open mid-tournament (the player who benefited from her withdrawal, Sofia Kenin, proceeded to beat Williams in the third round) as well as miss Wimbledon.

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However, the 19-year-old has not missed a beat since returning to action last month; after triumphing in Toronto, Andreescu has stormed through her part of the draw to reach her first Major final in just her fourth Grand Slam appearance.

En route, she defeated Caroline Wozniacki for the second time this season, and also brought down Taylor Townsend, who’d beaten Simona Halep in the second round, former Australian Open semi-finalist Elise Mertens in the quarters, and 13th seed Belinda Bencic in the last four.

Against Bencic, she took out the first set in a tiebreak, and then came from a double break down in the second to win the final five games and progress to the biggest final of her still fledgling career.

She now has the chance to create some history of her own; not only is she the first Major finalist born after January 1, 2000, she also has the chance to become the first teenager, male or female, since Maria Sharapova won at Flushing Meadows in 2006 to ultimately triumph.

All is now set for what should be a fascinating, intergenerational Grand Slam final between the ageless Serena Williams, and the up-and-coming Bianca Andreescu, who wasn’t even born when the American won her first Major title way back at the 1999 US Open.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Sunday morning’s (AEST) championship match.

[15] Bianca Andreescu (CAN) vs [8] Serena Williams (USA)
Saturday, September 7, 4:00pm (Sunday, September 8, 6:00am AEST)
Arthur Ashe Stadium

Head-to-head
All matches: Andreescu 1-0
Last meeting: Andreescu won 3-1 ret., final, 2019 Rogers Cup.

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Bianca Andreescu’s road to the final
Round 1: defeated Katie Volynets (USA) 6-2, 6-4
Round 2: defeated Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 6-3, 7-5
Round 3: defeated [19] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 6-4, 6-4
Round 4: defeated Taylor Townsend (USA) 6-1, 4-6, 6-2
Quarter-final: defeated [25] Elise Mertens (BEL) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
Semi-final: defeated [13] Belinda Bencic (SUI) 7-6 (7-3), 7-5

Serena Williams’ road to the final
Round 1: defeated Maria Sharapova (RUS) 6-1, 6-1
Round 2: defeated Caty McNally (USA) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1
Round 3: defeated Karolina Muchova (CZE) 6-3, 6-2
Round 4: defeated [22] Petra Martic (CRO) 6-3, 6-4
Quarter-final: defeated [18] Wang Qiang (CHN) 6-1, 6-0
Semi-final: defeated [5] Elina Svitolina (UKR) 6-3, 6-1

The stats that matter

  • This is Serena Williams’ 33rd Grand Slam final, and tenth at the US Open, while for Bianca Andreescu this is her first Grand Slam final and her fourth career final, all of which have come this year.
  • Williams is attempting, for the fourth time, to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles. She fell short at Wimbledon and the US Open last year, and again at the All England Club this year.
  • Andreescu is the first Canadian woman to reach the US Open final, and the first to reach a Grand Slam final since Eugenie Bouchard at Wimbledon final in 2014.
  • Andreescu is the first player born this century (i.e. after January 1, 2000) to reach a Grand Slam final. She is also the second teenager (after Marketa Vondrousova at the French Open) to reach a Grand Slam final this year.
  • Andreescu is the youngest US Open finalist since Caroline Wozniacki a decade ago. She is aiming to become the first teenager to win a Major since Maria Sharapova triumphed in the Big Apple in 2006.
  • Andreescu is the 18th different opponent to face Williams in a Grand Slam final, and the eighth different at the US Open (after Martina Hingis, Venus Williams (twice), Jelena Jankovic, Samantha Stosur, Victoria Azarenka (twice), Caroline Wozniacki and Naomi Osaka).
  • Williams has only ever once lost to a teenager in a Major final, when she lost to Maria Sharapova in the final of Wimbledon in 2004. She hasn’t lost to a teenager at a Major since losing to Sloane Stephens (then aged 19) in the quarter-finals of the 2013 Australian Open.

Prediction
Serena Williams in three sets.

Before the women’s final, both men’s semi-finals will be contested this morning, with Daniil Medvedev to face off against Grigor Dimitrov in the late afternoon, before Rafael Nadal comes up against Italian surprise packet Matteo Berrettini in the twilight.

Whichever of Medvedev or Dimitrov wins will reach his first Grand Slam final, while Nadal will start the hottest of favourites to take out his fourth US Open title and 19th Major title, which would see him draw to within one of Roger Federer’s haul of 20.

In the women’s doubles, Ashleigh Barty will have the chance to win back-to-back titles, when she and Victoria Azarenka face either Elise Mertens/Aryna Sabalenka and Caroline Dolehide/Vania King in Sunday’s (AEST) final.

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Matches to watch on Day 12

Arthur Ashe Stadium
Not before 4:00pm (6:00am AEST)
[5] Daniil Medvedev (RUS) vs Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)

Not before 5:30pm (7:30am AEST)
[24] Matteo Berrettini (ITA) vs [2] Rafael Nadal (ESP)