US Open: Serena Williams vs Bianca Andreescu women's final preview
By Mathieu Wood
Last Updated: 07/09/19 9:30pm
Serena Williams will face Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu in the US Open final as her latest bid to win a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title throws up a genuine clash of generations.
The six-time American champion has powered through to a 33rd Grand Slam final and more significantly her fourth since returning to tennis following the birth of her first child in September 2017.
Williams has suffered disappointment in her last three major showpieces, including last year's controversial defeat against Naomi Osaka in New York, but will be a heavy favourite against 19-year-old Andreescu.
Youth vs experience - Which will triumph?
Motherhood has proved no obstacle for Williams since her competitive return to the sport and her pursuit of Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.
Just two years ago, Williams was fighting for her life with a blood clot in her lung after the birth of daughter Olympia.
She is now on the brink of history, once again, and victory against prodigious talent Andreescu will also see her become the oldest women's champion in Grand Slam history, surpassing the age mark she set in winning the 2017 Australian Open at 35 while pregnant.
Serena's Grand Slam final defeats since return to tour
|Wimbledon||2018||Angelique Kerber||6-3 6-3|
|US Open||2018||Naomi Osaka||6-2 6-4|
|Wimbledon||2019||Simona Halep||6-2 6-2|
On the other side of the court will be a challenger who has enjoyed a meteoric rise due in part to her fearless approach and big-match temperament.
"She really knows how to mix up the game and play different shots in different ways," said Williams assessing Andreescu.
"She's a great player. You never know what is going to come from her.
"She serves well, moves well, has a ton of power. She's very exciting to watch."
Stats ahead of New York showpiece
The 18-year age gap between the players will be the largest between the women's finalists at any major in the Open Era (since 1968).
When Serena Williams won her first US Open title in 1999, Bianca Andreescu was not even born.
Andreescu is competing in the main draw at Flushing Meadows for the first time.
Williams will surpass Chris Evert's Open Era record of 101 match wins at the US Open if she wins the final.
Andreescu is just the second Canadian woman after Eugenie Bouchard to play in a Grand Slam final (Wimbledon 2014).
Victory in the final will see Williams claim a seventh US Open championship, one more than Evert.
Andreescu has not lost a completed match since March 2 and has remarkably risen from 152 in the world rankings at the start of the year to 15th.
In fact, a year ago she was ranked 208th after a first-round defeat in US Open qualifying. Since then she has won 32 out of 36 matches and won prestigious titles at Indian Wells and in the Rogers Cup at home in Toronto.
"It is just surreal I don't know what to say it is a dream come true to play Serena in the final of the US Open," Andreescu said after her semi-final victory against Belinda Bencic.
How finalists compare
The showpiece will see power take on power. Andreescu will need to match Williams' heavy hitting from the back of the court if she is to stand a chance and has proved herself more than capable during her rise up the rankings.
The pair have only met once before in the final of the Rogers Cup last month but the match was cut short when Williams retired injured with back spasms when 3-1 behind in the opening set.
Nonetheless, not many players have a winning head-to-head record against the American.
Andreescu will need to bring her undeniable tenacity to the contest and hope Williams doesn't hit the heights of confidence she has largely displayed on her run to the final to likely stand a chance. It certainly won't be easy.
"Having those four games against her I think is going to help me on Saturday," said Andreescu, who is unbeaten in seven career matches against opponents ranked in the top 10.
Williams proved far too strong for fifth seed Svitolina in the semi-finals and joked she wouldn't be repeating the serve and volley tactic she used during her victory against the Ukrainian.
"Don't expect that again, that was like... What I am doing at the net, let me get back to the baseline," Williams said.
Respective paths to the final
Serena Williams' route to the US Open final
|First round||Maria Sharapova||6-1 6-1|
|Second round||Caty McNally||5-7 6-3 6-1|
|Third round||Karolina Muchova||6-3 6-2|
|Fourth round||Petra Martic||6-3 6-4|
|Quarter-final||Qiang Wang||6-1 6-0|
|Semi-final||Elina Svitolina||6-3 6-1|
Bianca Andreescu's route to the US Open final
|First round||Katie Volynets||6-2 6-4|
|Second round||Kirsten Flipkens||6-3 7-5|
|Third round||Caroline Wozniacki||6-4 6-4|
|Fourth round||Taylor Townsend||6-1 4-6 6-2|
|Quarter-final||Elise Mertens||3-6 6-2 6-3|
|Semi-final||Belinda Bencic||7-6 (7-3) 7-5|
Can Andreescu deal with pro-Serena New York crowd?
Andreescu has won plenty of new admirers over the past fortnight but there is no doubt Williams can expect the overwhelming backing from the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd on Saturday.
The manner of the ending to last year's final between Williams and Osaka was deeply disappointing for tennis.
The Japanese player's moment of celebration was overshadowed by the lingering tension in the air after an earlier explosive confrontation between chair umpire Carlos Ramos and a seething Williams.
That match saw Williams deducted a point and later a game for her behaviour, which included a smashed racket and calling Ramos a "liar" and "thief".
The New York crowd will be determined to help will Williams on to victory this time around at the scene of the American's maiden Grand Slam title as a 17-year-old in 1999.
The stage Andreescu, who will rise to at least world No 8 on Monday, finds herself in couldn't be much more high profile.
"I've always dreamt of this moment ever since I was a little kid," said Andreescu.
"But I don't think many people would have actually thought that it would become a reality."
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