Bianca Andreescu holds up the trophy after winning the U.S. Open women’s singles title Saturday in straight sets over Serena Williams.USA TODAY SPORTS

NEW YORK — For the second year in a row at the U.S. Open and the fourth time since she returned to competition following the birth of her daughter, Serena Williams fell short of tying Margaret Court’s record of 24 career Grand Slam tournament singles titles.

Williams, who will be 38 in a few weeks and is running out of time to match that record, mounted a late push that thrilled the crowd and pushed Bianca Andreescu to the limit before the Canadian teenager prevailed 6-3, 7-5, to win her first Grand Slam title.

Williams fell behind 5-1 in the second set and faced a championship point but found the strength to make one last frenzied rush and won the next four games. Andreescu, showing signs of strain for the first time in the match, committed a number of errors before she held for 6-5. Williams saved a championship point with an ace but Andreescu hit a forehand winner to put the match away.

Andreescu, 19, became the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam tournament singles title. Andreescu hadn’t yet been born when Compton, Calif.-raised Williams won her first U.S. Open in 1999.

“I was just fighting at that point, trying to stay out there a little bit longer. Bianca played an unbelievable match. I’m so proud and happy for you,” she added, turning toward Andreescu. “It was incredible tennis and if anyone can win this tournament outside of Venus (her sister), I’m happy it’s Bianca.”

Andreescu will receive a check for $3.8 million. Williams will earn $1.9 million. Williams’ supporters included the Duchess of Sussex — formerly Meghan Markle of Southern California.

“I know you guys wanted Serena to win, so I’m so sorry,” Andreescu said to the crowd. “I’m beyond grateful and truly blessed. Being able to play on this stage against Serena, a true legend of the sport, is amazing.”

Unlike last year, when Williams lost to Naomi Osaka amid the tumult that resulted when Williams engaged in a verbal tirade against the chair umpire, the match was uneventful. Williams played better this year than she did a year ago against Osaka, having been merely six months into her post-pregnancy comeback at that point, but Andreescu was precise and powerful and simply too effective all over the court for Williams on Saturday at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Williams has not won a set in the four Grand Slam tournament finals she has played since she moved within one of equaling Court’s record.

Andreescu, who lives in the northern Toronto suburb of Thornhill, is 8-0 against top-10 players this season. Williams was seeded No. 8 here and Andreescu was No. 15. The two had faced each other only once before; on that occasion, Williams retired during the first set of their final at a tournament in Toronto last month.

Tribune Wire


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