Bianca Andreescu just doesn’t know how to lose a tennis match these days while Serena Williams suddenly is struggling to win a grand slam final.
Andreescu became Canada’s first ever grand slam singles champion and at 19, the first teen to win a major since Maria Sharapova 13 years ago. She beat Williams 6-3, 7-5 in Saturday’s US Open final that went off without a hitch after the 2018 controversy.
Williams, watched by her good friend Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, as she was in the Wimbledon final, will have to wait until 2020 to potentially tie Margaret Court’s record of winning 24 majors. The 37-year-old is still tennis royalty, despite losing her last four grand slam finals in straight sets, but acknowledged she has some thinking to do.
“I honestly don’t think Serena showed up,” Williams said. “I have to kind of figure out how to get her to show up in grand slam finals.”
“I love Bianca,” added Williams. “I think she’s a great girl. But I think this was the worst match I’ve played all tournament. It’s hard to know that you could do better. I don’t even know what to say.”
Anyone who didn’t know that already found out Saturday. Appearing in her first grand slam final, Andreescu — not yet born when Williams won her first US Open title in 1999 — wasn’t shy to let out one “come on” after another.
She made the perfect start, breaking Williams after her opponent led 40-15. Williams double-faulted twice to end the game in a sign of what was to come. Double-faults would be an issue for Williams — hitting eight in total — and she only served at 44 percent.
Andreescu failed to convert five break chances leading 4-2 in a game that stretched to 10 minutes. But she shrugged off the disappointment in the next game, gutsily saving a break point with an ace. Another double-fault from Williams duly ended the opening set.
The fourth game of the second set summed up Williams’ woe. Finally getting an ace, a gesture of outstretched arms from Williams suggested the expression, “Where has that been?”
On the next point, she double-faulted.
A drop-shot miss from Williams at 1-5 left Williams’ mom Oracene looking perplexed in the stands, but she saved a match point to break for 2-5 and held to get closer to Andreescu. The crowd was off their feet and reached fever pitch when Andreescu missed a backhand at 5-3, 0-15 with Williams stranded. Andreescu tried to block out the noise with her fingers.
A surging Williams incredibly got back on serve but it was still tricky, serving to stay in the championship match. From 30-30 — after two aces and two double-faults — a rattled Andreescu missed two second-serve returns.
Williams is unquestionably one of the greatest athletes ever. But she has lost those last four major finals, to Angelique Kerber, Osaka, Simona Halep and now Andreescu, since returning to the tour in 2018 after giving birth to daughter Olympia.“It truly is super frustrating,” said Williams. “I’m, like, so close, so close, so close, yet so far away.”
By: Dammy Eneli