NEW YORK, Sept 8 ― Serena Williams took energy from 24,000 cheering fans yesterday at Arthur Ashe Stadium, but in the end it was not enough to enable her to defeat Bianca Andreescu in the US Open final.
The 19-year-old Canadian defeated Williams 6-3, 7-5 to capture her first Grand Slam title, but only after battling Williams deep into a tough second set.
“It was fantastic tennis out there,” Williams said. “I wish I could have played a little bit better.”
Williams was denied in her attempt to match Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles. It's the fourth Slam final in a row, this year's and last year's finals at the US Open and Wimbledon, where Williams came up short with a chance to equal the mark.
Down 5-1 in the second set, Williams faced a match point but answered with a forehand winner to foil Andreescu. She broke in the seventh game and again in the ninth at love and pulled level at 5-5 as the crowd roared with delight, hoping to see history made.
“I was just fighting at that point, just trying to stay out there a little bit longer,” Williams said.
“The fans started cheering so hard it made me start playing a little bit better and fighting a little bit more.”
But her fightback came up short as Andreescu held and broke on a forehand winner. Williams finished with 33 winners but also 33 unforced errors to only 17 by Andreescu.
“Bianca played a wonderful match,” Williams said. “I just feel really honored to be out here and competing at this level.”
Andreescu said she was “really proud with how I dealt with everything” and a major item on that list was “definitely the crowd.”
“I know you guys wanted Serena to win,” she told the fans after the match. “And I'm so sorry.” ― AFP