Saturday, September 7, 2019

Andreescu, 19, upsets Serena for U.S. Open title

   For the second consecutive year, a young upstart prevented Serena Williams from tying Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles in the U.S. Open final.
   At least Williams didn't melt down this time.
   One year after 20-year-old Naomi Osaka stunned Williams in a tumultuous final in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu triumphed 6-3, 7-5 today in front of a staunchly pro-Williams crowd at 23,771-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium.
   The hard-hitting Andreescu, seeded 15th, showed no sign of nerves in her first major final until trying to close out the match. The daughter of Romanian immigrants, she became the first Canadian, male or female, to win a Grand Slam singles title.
   Andreescu lost in the first round of qualifying in last year's U.S. Open and was ranked No. 152 at the end of 2018.
   "Last year wasn't an easy period in my life," Andreescu, who earned $3.85 million for the title and will rise 10 spots to No. 5 in the world on Monday, said during the awards ceremony. "I was going through a lot with injuries, but I persevered. I told myself to never give up. I had a really good preseason with my amazing team. I thank you guys so much for sticking by me every step of the way, so I have to dedicate this win to all of you.
   "I just kept believing in myself. I kept working hard, and I just kept that momentum and confidence throughout this whole year. Hopefully, I can keep going."
   The eighth-seeded Williams, a part-time Silicon Valley resident who will turn 38 on Sept. 26, fell to 0-4 in Grand Slam singles finals since having her first child on Sept. 1, 2017, and undergoing life-threatening complications. Each loss has been in straight sets.
   "My team has been so supportive through all the downs and downs and downs and downs, and hopefully we'll have some ups soon," Williams, who was on her best behavior throughout the tournament, said with a laugh.
   Nerves played a big role in today's final, especially for Williams, as they have in each of her four losses. She double-faulted on break point the first three times she lost her serve, and her footwork was poor for much of the match.
   Andreescu raced to a 5-1 lead in the second set, but Williams saved a championship point and reeled off the next four games. After Andreescu held for 6-5, she converted her third championship point with a forehand winner off a Williams second serve.
   Earlier, Bethanie Mattek-Sands of Phoenix and Jamie Murray of Great Britain won the mixed doubles title for the second straight year. Unseeded, they knocked off top-seeded Hao-Ching Chan of Chinese Taipei and Michael Venus of New Zealand 6-2, 6-3. Murray, Andy Murray's older brother, also won the 2017 crown with Martina Hingis.

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