Saturday, September 07, 2019

Canada finally has their first Grand Slam Tennis Champion @ U.S. Open!

NEW YORK, NY, USA - Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu capped off her breakthrough 2019 season with Grand Slam glory at the US Open, playing indomitable tennis to survive 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, 6-3, 7-5 to win her first major title.

Andreescu hasn't lost a completed match since February, and the Rogers Cup champion withstood a late hiccup to extend her winning streak to 13 straight and become the first Canadian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title in the Open Era, winning after one hour and 39 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Williams, who broke Stefanie Graf's Open Era record of Grand Slam singles titles at the 2017 Australian Open, was making her fourth attempt to tie Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 after finishing runner-up at the last two Wimbledon Championships and 2018 US Open final.
Bianca Andreescu became the first Canadian in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam singles title, shocking 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in straight sets.

Dropping just one set en route to the final, Williams, who spent 14 months away from the sport to marry and give birth to daughter Alexis Olympia, looked to begin with a strong service hold.

The BNP Paribas Open champion, undaunted in the face of the biggest match of her career, flipped a 40-15 deficit to break off a double fault from the American.

The American initially remained within one break and aimed to pump herself up after saving a whopping five break points in the seventh game. Down break point on her own serve, the No.15 seed gamely saved it and broke once more in the next game to capture the opening set.

With a quick break to start the second, Andreescu shook off losing a long service game of her own to reclaim the initiative and race out to a 5-1 lead, holding her first championship point on serve.

Williams saved it and put on a brave last stand, winning 16 of 20 points to level the set as nerves set in for the teenager. With her back against the wall, Andreescu stopped the run of games to again put herself within four points of victory.

Striking a forehand winner for 15-30, Andreescu earned two more championship points when Williams ended a long rally with a backhand error. Saving a second match point off an ace, the American couldn't save a third as Andreescu batted a way a forehand winner to clinch victory.

In all, it was a clean match from Andreescu, who struck 18 winners to 17 unforced errors, converting five of 12 break point opportunities while winning a solid 64% of first serve points.

Already set to make her Top 10 debut regardless of result, Andreescu is tentatively set to move up to No.5 on Monday's rankings.

I haven't been talking about Bianca Andreescu much this year when I really should have because the rest of the world certainly has!. 

She has been on a remarkable run this year, that seemingly came out of nowhere. 

And she topped it off with the first ever Grand Slam title for Canada, against none other than Serena Williams. 

It doesn't get better than that. 

Her poise and composure reminds me so much of a teenage Martina Hingis it's uncanny. 

Granted Hingis never had the same type of power on her shots, but the way she's able to out play and out smart opponents with variety is so similar. 

I would even go as far as saying she's like a cross between Martina Hingis and Simona Helap. 

Her slides on hard court remind me a lot of Kim Clijsters. They're so fun to watch. 

That relentless fighting spirit against opponents in the top ten is just remarkable. 

When she lost the 5-1 lead in the second set after having won the first and Serena got back to 5-all I thought, oh no now Serena will make the comeback in the 3rd and that will be the end of that. 

But Bianca held her nerve and broke Serena again to win it in straights. That is mental resilience of the highest order. The kind you need to win all the big titles. 

It'll be interesting to see how she handles it all now. There's going to be so much attention on her, and with so much success eventually you get a target on your back.

I'll be very curious to see how the rest of this season ends for her after this. 

But for the moment I'm just going to bask in the happiness of the first ever Canadian Grand Slam Champ, courtesy of a 19 year old from my hometown. 

Take a bow Bianca. Outstanding ♥

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