Serena Williams, of the United States, right, congratulates Bianca Andreescu, of Canada, after Andreescu won the women’s singles final of the U.S. Open tennis championships Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Sarah Stier)

VIDEO: Andreescu beats Williams 6-3, 7-5 to become first Canadian U.S. Open singles champ

19-year-old from Mississauga, Ont. is a Grand Slam winner

NEW YORK — Bianca Andreescu became the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title, beating Serena Williams 6-3, 7-5 on Saturday in the U.S. Open women’s final.

The 19-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., used her powerful forehand — and was helped by an uncharacteristically bad service game from the veteran Williams — for her third tournament win of the season, and biggest by far of her career, in her first U.S. Open main draw appearance.

Andreescu converted on her third championship point of the match, breaking Williams with a forehand return before ecstatically sprawling belly-up on the court.

Then she got up, climbed a ladder to get to her players’ box and embraced coach Sylvain Bruneau.

She the North indeed.

Andreescu put her hands over her mouth in awe after the match when the on-court interviewer mentioned that she was the first Canadian to win a major.

“It’s so hard to explain in words but I’m beyond grateful,” Andreescu told him. “I worked really hard for this moment.

“This year has been a dream come true and being able to play on this stage against Serena, a true legend in this sport, is amazing.”

Andreescu’s father, teary-eyed in the crowd, was shown filming the post-match interview and trophy presentation on his cell phone.

While there was a loud applause from the crowd when Andreescu was introduced before the match, the ovation for Williams was deafening.

Andreescu said she had to fight off the crowd noise at times, especially when she saw her 5-1 lead evaporate in the second set.

“I know you guys wanted Serena to win so I’m so sorry,” she said on the court.

Andreescu, seeded No. 15 at the major, will reach a career high No. 5 when the new WTA rankings are released Monday.

It wasn’t a pretty match for Williams, who struggled on her serve throughout, with her first-serve percentage dipping to 25 at one point in the second set.

But the 23-time Grand Slam champion showed fight late in the match. She staved off one championship point and erased a 5-1 deficit with consecutive breaks to tie the set 5-5 and send the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium into a frenzy.

The No. 8-seeded Williams won her first U.S. Open title here 20 years ago — before Andreescu was born.

While there was a loud applause from the crowd when Andreescu was introduced before the match, the ovation for Williams was deafening.

Andreescu was aggressive from the start.

The Canadian broke Williams twice in the first set — in the first game and on a double fault to end the set — while facing just one break point, which Williams did not convert.

Williams double-faulted again to give Andreescu another break and a 2-0 lead to start the second set. The American responded by breaking Andreescu for the first time, but then lost her next serve as the Canadian built a 5-1 advantage.

Williams, whose disappointment was etched on her face during parts of the match, remains one short of tying Margaret Court’s record 24 Grand Slam titles.

She is also still looking for her first championship — major or otherwise — after returning from the birth of her daughter. Williams had won the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant and returned to the WTA tour at Indian Wells in March of 2018.

READ MORE: Fans across Canada eager to cheer on Bianca Andreescu at U.S. Open final

Saturday’s final was a rematch of last month’s Rogers Cup women’s championship in Toronto, which Andreescu won when Williams retired down 3-1 in the first set. That match lasted less than 20 minutes and gave Andreescu her second WTA victory of the season.

Andreescu approached a tearful Williams on the sideline that day in Toronto in a touching moment that led the American superstar to dub the young Canadian a ”great sportswoman.”

Andreescu was the first Canadian woman to play in a Grand Slam final since Eugenie Bouchard competed for the Wimbledon title in 2014.

Andreescu, who began the year ranked No. 152, reached a career high No. 15 heading into the U.S. Open after a stellar season that included her first two titles.

She has been one of the best Canadian sports stories of the year. She’s garnered praise from the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby, Steve Nash, and Kia Nurse. Even Billie Jean King, whose name adorns the tennis centre where the U.S. Open is played, has tweeted about Andreescu multiple times.

Andreescu was coming into Saturday’s final hot, but also tired.

She looked sluggish for parts of her 7-6, 7-5 semifinal victory against Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic Thursday night, but dug in and found another gear in the second set to rally back from deficits of 4-1 and 5-2.

Williams, on the other hand, looked otherworldly throughout the tournament, carving up opponents starting with Maria Sharapova in the first round. She also notched the quickest victory of the tournament, a 44-minute one-sided quarterfinal win over China’s Wang Qiang.

Melissa Couto, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Just Posted

Harrison Festival to host viewing of local ‘Still Standing’ episode

Comedian Jonny Harris came to Harrison Hot Springs in January to film part of his TV series

Blowback from the Trudeau in brownface debacle reaches Chilliwack

PM in questionable photos released in the middle of the federal election campaign had ripple effects

‘I just can’t believe it’: Agassiz swimmer brings home six medals from seniors games

Patti Komar won three gold and three silver medals in her first competition in 48 years

Local Liberal MP Jati Sidhu says he forgives Trudeau for brownface photos

Sidhu says Trudeau ‘didn’t know any better’ and that photos will prompt discussion

Prospera and Westminster credit unions approved for proposed merger

Abbotsford- and Surrey-based companies now take matter to membership vote

VIDEO: Agassiz Fall Fair celebrates 115 years of fair fun

From 4H shows to pie eating contests, the annual fair brought its best to the community this year

One-in-five British Columbians think they’ll win big while gambling: study

Roughly 58 per cent of British Columbians bought at least one lottery ticket in past year

Takaya, B.C.’s infamous lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Surrey school district OKs students skipping class for global climate strike

Students must be excused from school by parents; will be able to make up missed work without penalty

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Oak Bay father’s testimony at murder trial like plot of ‘bad low-budget movie:’ Crown

Crown alleged Andrew Berry’s ‘entire story of Christmas Day is a lie’

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Most Read