By Ros Satar & Jed Jones

  • Serena Williams [8] v Bianca Andreescu [15]
  • Williams once more targets the elusive record-equalling 24th Grand Slam
  • Andreescu will look to be the first Canadian woman in the Open Era to win a Slam
NEW YORK, USA – History beckons in the women’s singles final – but for who as Serena Williams and Bianca Andreescu face off again in a final

 

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The US Open 2019 women’s singles final will see Serena Williams look to capture the title 20 years after she won her first one and indeed her first Slam, against Bianca Andreescu – who has lit up the tour since the start of the year.

 

Serena Williams’ Path to the final

Serena Williams in the quarter-final of the US Open 2019, New York USA

Serena Williams in the quarter-final of the US Open 2019, New York USA | (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

  • R1: Maria Sharapova 6-1 6-1
  • R2: Caty McNally [WC] 5-7 6-3 6-1
  • R3: Karolina Muchova 6-3 6-2
  • R4: Petra Martic [22] 6-4 6-4
  • QF: Wang Qiang [18] 6-1 6-0
  • SF: Elina Svitolina [5] 6-3 6-1

From the moment that blockbuster first round was revealed, there was more of a sense of anticipation this time around for  Williams’ run, quite aside from the curiosity surrounding how she would feel coming back to the scene of last year’s chaotic meltdown.

Instead we were treated to a very focused Williams, who blew Maria Sharapova off the court. She was tested by another one of these young up and coming players, losing her only set thus far to Caty McNally, before pretty much putting the pedal to the metal for the rest of the rounds.

She faces Andreescu for the second time in the summer/autumn hard court swing and this time there is bound to be a better outcome than the 3-1 RET score-line that we saw in Toronto when back spasms saw Williams tearfully withdraw and be consoled by Andreescu as she claimed a home team win in Toronto, picking up another big Premier title to match her Indian Wells one.

 

Bianca Andreescu’s Path to the Final

Bianca Andreescu in the fourth round of the US Open 2019, New York USA

Bianca Andreescu in the fourth round of the US Open 2019, New York USA | (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

  • R1: Katie Volynets [WC] 6-2 6-4
  • R2: Kristen Flipkens 6-3 7-5
  • R3: Caroline Wozniacki [19] 6-4 6-4
  • R4: Taylor Townsend [Q] 6-1 4-6 6-2
  • QF: Elise Mertens [25] 3-6 6-2 6-3
  • SF: Belinda Bencic [13] 7-6(3) 7-5

At 19-years of age, Andreescu becomes the second teenager this year to advance to a Grand Slam final this year, following in the footsteps of Marketa Vondrousova at Roland Garros. There the Czech was a little over-awed by the proceedings as Ashleigh Barty systematically took her apart on her way to a first Slam.

Despite this being the biggest final that Andreescu has been in, and there will be nerves – of that there is no doubt, she does not have the demeanour of a person that will be just happy to be there.

 

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The Britwatch Debate – Writers Ros Satar and Jed Jones go head to head

Ros Satar: Three reasons why Serena will make it ‘24’ at last

Williams looks ready this time

In all honesty, the last couple of Slams where Williams has made the final she had coasted through a draw and just came undone at the end. This is the first time since she has reached a Slam final since returning after the birth of her baby, that she looks fit and ready.

Her intensity in the match against Sharapova, her tenacity in coming back from a set down against McNally and then putting pedal to the metal for every round since, Williams looks back to her focussed best.

 

She has never lost to a teen at the US Open

She is not about to start now. Last year the emotions of being here (especially after being taken to task by Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon) and then the entire debacle in the final where she was quite frankly being outplayed by Naomi Osaka is in the past.

However, she will have to contend with the crowd’s partisanship on her side – not always a good thing, and she seems to have made a far better job of handling the pressure this time around.

She knows what it takes to win this Slam, and while Andreescu will make her work hard for it – she is not about to let someone who was not even born when she lifted this title for the first time in 1999 steal her moment.

 

She can mix it up, even though she might not want to

Yes indeed we saw Williams serve and volley along the way to this final, although she joked about us never seeing that again, it might not be the worst thing to do. Andreescu is blessed with a lot of variety to her game and will look to disrupt Williams control off the baseline.

Her serve has been in impressive form, and let’s not forget Williams also is an excellent returner of serve too. But most impressive has been her movement after on-off bouts of frustrating injuries – the pectoral injury that hampered her serving at Roland Garros on her return, the knee injury that has dogged her this season. She was able to sprint to a drop-shot from the back of the court against Elina Svitolina, before picking up a winner cross court.

 

Jed Jones: Three reasons why Andreescu will be the new kind on the Slam-winning block

Almost unstoppable

Andreescu has been in some unbelievable form and she has proven she can be unbeatable on her day. Luckily for the Canadian, her day is more often than not. Andreescu has won 39 of her last 42 matches which is staggering – one of those losses was a retirement too! The 19-year-old is super talented and makes the game look ridiculously easy and her gift combines beautifully with her high work ethic. Not many players can take the game to  Williams, but if anyone can at the moment it is certainly Andreescu.

 

Big game player

The world No. 15 produces her best tennis in the biggest of matches, a hallmark of a true champion. The Canadian has had seven encounters against top 10 opposition and has won all seven – a ridiculous record. Her aggressive style allows her to assert her authority throughout the course of a match and clearly some of the elite of the game are unable to deal with it. Andreescu has featured in two big finals this year (Indian Wells and Toronto) and she was on the winning side on both occasions.

 

Fearless

Youth is certainly on the Canadian’s side and that might play a crucial role in the final. Many players would crumble against Williams, especially in a Grand Slam final, but Andreescu does not seem the type that would. The pair did face off in the Toronto final and although the American retired after a few games, shaking hands with the former world No. 1 as the winning player will certainly give Andreescu a mental boost. Her insane record against the top 10 is another reason to believe she fears no one and if she can go out and swing freely, Canada may have a first US Open champion.

 

POLL: Who will be the US Open 2019 Women’s Singles champion?

 

How to Watch/Follow the US Open 2019

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The US Open 2019 Women’s Singles Final takes place at 4pm (9pm BST).

 

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