Bianca Andreescu makes history, to play Serena Williams in U.S. Open final
Bianca Andreescu has become the first Canadian to reach a singles final at the U.S. Open, defeating Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic 7-6 (3), 7-5 in the semifinals on Thursday.
The 19-year-old will face 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams on Saturday. Williams defeated Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-1 earlier on Thursday. In their only previous meeting, Andreescu led Williams 3-1 at the Rogers Cup final in Toronto last month before the 37-year-old American was forced to retire due to back spasms.
Andreescu is appearing in only her fourth Grand Slam tournament. She had never been past the second round at a major.
“If someone told me a year ago that I would be in the finals of the U.S. Open this year, I would have told them, `You’re crazy,”‘ said Andreescu, who took her semifinal’s last five games after trailing 5-2.
She is the first player to get this far in her debut in New York since Venus Williams was the runner-up in 1997.
“It’s just surreal,” Andreescu said about the prospect of facing Serena Williams next. “Like, I really don’t know what to say.”
The 15th-seeded Andreescu trailed Bencic 4-1 and 5-2 in the second set before taking the last five games.
Andreescu, who has already won titles at Indian Wells and Toronto during her breakout 2019 season, unleashed a torrent of bruising groundstrokes to defeat the Swiss on a warm night at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Momentum shifted on the first point of the first set tiebreak when Bencic double-faulted and her previously immaculate play began to crumble and Andreescu cruised from there.
Bencic finally broke Andreescu to open the second set but despite stretching her lead to 4-1 and 5-2, Andreescu fed off the supportive crowd to level at 5-5 after another costly Bencic double-fault.
Andreescu booked her ticket to her first Grand Slam final when Bencic sent a forehand into the net on match point to end the tense first-time encounter.