Serena Williams reaches US Open final and will face Bianca Andreescu

Serena Williams
Serena Williams won her first Grand Slam singles title at the US Open in 1999
US Open 2019
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 26 Aug – 8 Sep
Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

Serena Williams has another shot at winning a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title after demolishing Elina Svitolina to reach the US Open final.

With her fleet of foot and ability to return, she would have been hoping to withstand everything fired by Williams and then outlast her older opponent.

But even she could not cope with the pummelling produced by the American.

Svitolina’s inability to take any of six break points in the early part of the first set proved terminal to her hopes.

Helped by three unforced errors from Williams in the opening game, Svitolina created three break points which she could not convert and then saw her illustrious opponent fight back from 40-0 down to break for a 2-0 lead after a hard-fought 15 minutes.

Another 40-0 lead disappeared as Williams held for a 4-1 lead and from that point Svitolina’s confidence sapped, along with her ability to push her opponent.

“I just wish I could have taken those opportunities,” said Svitolina, who won the season-ending WTA Tour Finals last year.

“It could be maybe a 2-2 or 3-3 instead of 0-3, which allows you to push to play more freely.”

In the second set she was not able to touch Williams’ serve, winning just three receiving points.

“She has unbelievable strength. She gives lots of power,” Svitolina said.

“There’s lots of power behind her shots all the time. That’s what makes her an unbelievable, legendary tennis player.”

Determined Andreescu battles through

Bianca Andreescu celebrates beating Belinda Bencic to reach the US Open final
Andreescu is the first Canadian to reach the women’s singles final at the US Open

Saturday’s final at Flushing Meadows comes four weeks after Williams tearfully retired with a back injury against Andreescu in the Rogers Cup final in Toronto.

Andreescu and Bencic were both competing in their first major semi-final, with the Canadian becoming the first teenager to play in a US Open last-four match since 2009.

Bencic made the running in the opening set but was undone as Andreescu saved all six break points created by the Swiss.

Andreescu raced into a 5-0 lead in the first-set tie-break, and despite Bencic attempting a comeback, she made her lead count as her visibly frustrated opponent came to rue her missed opportunities.

Perhaps it was the spur that Bencic – who reached the quarter-finals in New York as a 17-year-old in 2014 – needed as she replied in stunning fashion, quickly going a double break up, and despite having her own serve broken, immediately broke again to extend her lead to 5-2.

But Andreescu refused to go away and won the next five games, breaking Andreescu once more on her third match point to book her place in the final.

“I think it’s just all the hard work I’ve put in through the years,” she said. “If someone told me a year ago I would be in the US Open final this year, I’d tell them they were crazy.

“It’s just surreal. I really don’t know what to say. It’s a dream come true playing against Serena in the final of the US Open. It’s crazy.”


BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller at Flushing Meadows

Andreescu may not wish to dwell for too long on the highlights of Williams’ semi-final performance.

The power could be taken for granted, but perhaps not the quality of the angles she produced and her movement around the court.

The stakes rise enormously in a Grand Slam final, and Williams has lost her previous three, but in terms of preparation and confidence-building this was extremely handy.

Not that Andreescu has much to worry about, as the 19-year-old has won her past 22 completed matches, either side of a shoulder injury.

No wonder she never knows when she is beaten. Bencic made the running in both sets, but still ended up losing them.

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September 2019