Bianca Andreescu knew this would happen, because she knows everything about Serena Williams. I admired her. I dreamed of interpreting it.
Andreescu knew that Williams would not go silent. I knew Williams wouldn't make things easier. And so, as a great advantage in the final of the US Open. UU. It decreased on Saturday, as he stuck his fingers in his ears to drown the decibels of the thousands of delusions that filled the Arthur Ashe Stadium, Andreescu knew he had to be as bold and hit as big, as he did before in the game and as Williams has done for years.
Showing the same brand of tennis on the face that Williams seemed to invent, full of strong kicks, brave bottom shots and "Come on!" Screaming, Andreescu, 19, regained the lead and took a 6-3, 7-5 victory at Flushing Meadows to win his first Grand Slam title and prevent Williams from picking up a 24 record.
"I am sure that I am not the only person who admires her. She is an inspiration to many, many people, not only athletes. What she has done off the court as well. She is really a champion. Above all, she is very kindhearted He approached me in the dressing room and told me some very nice things, which I will appreciate very, very long, "Andreescu said of Williams, 37.
"I've really struggled to be like her," Andreescu said. "Who knows? Maybe it can be even better."
That is a pretty heady goal.
Still, this was certainly a good place to start.
Andreescu is the first woman in the Open era, which began in 1968, to win the championship in New York in her tournament debut; A year ago, he couldn't even get to the field, because he lost in the first qualifying round. She is the first woman since Monica Seles in 1990 to lift the trophy in only her fourth Grand Slam tournament. She is the first player in Canada to win an individual Grand Slam title.
This is the second consecutive year that Williams loses in the final at Flushing Meadows. He had nothing of the 2018 controversy, when he had a long discussion with the chair judge while being beaten by Naomi Osaka.
Williams has now been a finalist in four of the seven major races he has entered since he returned to the tour after having a baby two years ago. The American remains trapped in 23 Grand Slam titles, one less than the Margaret Court brand for the most in history.
"I'm not necessarily chasing a record. I'm just trying to win Grand Slams. It's definitely frustrating, you know," Williams said.
He gave Andreescu credit for playing well, but he also said: "Honestly, I didn't play the best I could today. I could have played better. That is the only consolation I can take now."
Williams committed a double foul eight times in total, including three times at the breaking point, part of his 33 unforced errors, almost twice Andreescu's total of 17.
There were other ways that Williams was not at his best, seemingly unsure of himself, including a strange-looking hit control in a setback in the second set that then allowed Andreescu to shoot up 4-1.
Soon, Andreescu maintained a match point while serving 5-1, 40-30. Williams erased that by taking a right-back winner from a 105 mph service.
That launched a four-game run for Williams, who broke Andreescu again to make it 5.
"It was expected. She is a champion. That's what the champions do. She has done it many, many times throughout her career," Andreescu said, perhaps aware that Williams has a winning record even after losing the first set. of Grand Slam matches.
"But I tried to stay as serene as possible. It's hard to block everything, but I think I did a good job on that."
Of course. She steeled herself against Williams, against any nerve, against a loud group of spectators and took the last two games.
"Things just start to disappear. You can feel that Serena is finding a bit of rhythm. She is finding herself. She is becoming more solid. The crowd is roaring, just entering. It's very easy to say from the bench, & # 39; Stay focused, blah, blah, blah. But this is overwhelming. There is no other word, "said Andreescu coach Sylvain Bruneau.
"So, so that she can simply restart 5-all when it's anyone's game now, I think it's quite special. Very, very special. It shows a lot."
He has a 34-4 mark in 2019, 8-0 against top 10 opponents and without losing in a game completed since March 1.
Andreescu wasted some time in that period with a shoulder injury, which is clearly no longer impeding it.
Andreescu took it to Williams, figuratively and literally.
Andreescu produced the kind of power that Williams is more accustomed to distributing than on the other side of the network. A shot went straight to Williams, who jumped to avoid the ball in the bottom line.
And Andreescu was brave, always pushing, always aggressive.
"We are really similar," Williams said, "in terms of the fact that we are both fighters and we are both really intense."
Talk about a compliment.
Andreescu agreed. To a point.
"We like to keep the points short with our aggressive play style. We like to use our service to our advantage," Andreescu said. "I think we fight very, very hard."
"But at the same time," he said, "I want to make a name for myself."