Only this Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu remains the final obstacle to Serena Williams march to win her 24th record-equalling 24th Grand Slam. They met for the first time on 11 August in the Rogers Cup final, but Serena retired with injury, trailing her 1-3.
Andreescu, born 16 June 2000, won a nail-biting semi-final against Swiss girl Belinda Bencic on Thursday 7-6 7-5 to book her place in the US Open final, the same night Serena crushed fifth seed Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-1 to claim a record-equalling 101st win at Flushing Meadows.
Williams, is seeking a seventh US Open title and a 24th Grand Slam singles title to match Margaret Court’s all-time record.
The 37-year-old American, who made her US Open debut in 1998, drew level with Chris Evert for the most wins in tournament history after advancing to a 33rd major final.
“To be in yet another final, it seems honestly crazy. But I don’t really expect too much less,” said Williams, who has lost three Grand Slam finals since winning the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant.
“I’ve had so many chances to pass it (Court’s record) and to have a lot more, but it’s cool because I’m playing in an era with so many — five eras with so many amazing players.”
Williams fought off six break points across her opening three service games before finding her rhythm to dispatch Wimbledon semi-finalist Svitolina in 70 minutes, hitting 34 winners against just 20 unforced errors.
“I know how (Svitolina) can play, she’s such a good player,” Williams said. “Obviously two semis in a row is really hard to do and I just wanted to not get off to a slow start and I wanted to hang on in there.”
Williams, who was beaten by Simona Halep in the Wimbledon final in July, returns to the championship match in New York a year on from her infamous meltdown in a loss to Naomi Osaka overshadowed by controversy.
She hasn’t won the US Open since 2014.
Svitolina, 24, was attempting to become just the second Ukrainian to play in a Grand Slam singles final after Andrei Medvedev, who lost in five sets to Andre Agassi at the 1999 French Open.
Svitolina, who accounted for two-time former US Open champion Venus Williams and 2017 runner-up Madison Keys en route to the last four, put Williams under early pressure at Arthur Ashe Stadium but wilted as her rival hit her groove.
After carving out three break points in the opening game, Svitlona promptly dropped her own serve, with three more opportunities to hit back passing her by in game five as the vastly more experienced Williams dominated the key points.
“On the important moments, she step up, always step up, always brings her best game,” Svitolina said.
“She knows what she has to do. She has unbelievable strength. She gives lots of power. There’s lots of power behind her shots all the time. That’s what makes her unbelievable, legendary tennis player.”
Williams backed up a quarter-final statement win over Wang Qiang by defeating Svitolina for the fifth time in six attempts, avenging her loss at the 2016 Olympics in their most recent encounter.
Bianca Vanessa Andreescu also hopes to become the fourth first-time Slam champion in five years to win the US Open women’s title.
She was born 16 June 2000, about 18 years younger to Serena who will be 38 on 26 September.
Bianca is a Romanian-Canadian player, who reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 14 on August 12, 2019. On August 11, 2019, she became the first Canadian woman to win the Canadian Open since Faye Urban in 1969.
On September 8, 2019, she will be the first Canadian to contest the US Open final on her debut main draw appearance where she will take on Serena Williams in a repeat of the Rogers Cup final.
*Also read: Serena Williams crushes Elina Svitolina