US Open 2019, Day 11: Serena Williams vs. Bianca Andreescu for the title

The 2019 US Open final will be contested between Serena Williams on Bianca Andreescu after both players won their semi-final matches in straight sets. A bit late with this post as i’ve only just caught up with the matches. Selfishly not a fan of the night semi-finals as I cant survive a day at work on no sleep these days šŸ˜‚. Read on for reviews of the semi-finals and a preview of Saturday’s final.

Match reviews šŸŽ¾

(8) Serena Williams d. (5) Elina Svitolina, 6-3 6-1

Serena advanced to her 33rd (!) Slam final with a superb display to defeat Elina Svitolina in straight sets. Serena dropped just four points behind her first serve and returned aggressively, putting Svitolina under pressure on her second serve. Serena opened up the court beautifully with delicious angles. The first two games were quite similar to Svitolina’s semi-final against Simona Halep at Wimbledon – both were longgg and Svitolina didn’t win either despite having game points. I thought Svitolina’s court positioning in the first set was very negative and it allowed Serena extra time on the ball to dominate and dictate proceedings.

(15) Bianca Andreescu d. (13) Belinda Bencic, 7-6(3) 7-5

Andreescu won her 12th consecutive match as she advanced to her first Slam final with a gritty display to beat Belinda Bencic in straights. Bencic was arguably the better player through much of the match but was unable to convert on her opportunities. Bencic missed a set point in the first set and was twice unable to serve out the second set at *5-2 and *5-4 as Andreescu reeled off five straight games to claim a historic win. I was so impressed with how Andreescu mixed in both variety and aggression at the end of the match, and totally backed herself in the pressure moments.

Tomorrow’s OOP ā­

It was such a shame that Serena was forced to pull out of the Toronto final with a back injury so it’s kind of fitting that we should hopefully get to see this match-up play out in the US Open final. Of Serena’s post-baby Slam runs, I think this has been her most impressive run and playing Toronto was a smart move in simply getting more matches under her belt.

The semi-final win over Svitolina hasn’t convinced me in Serena’s favour because she absolutely tore through her previous semi-final opponents (Goerges 6-2 6-4, Sevastova 6-3 6-0 and Strycova 6-1 6-2) and then wasn’t able to replicate those performances in the finals. As well as Kerber, Osaka and Halep have played in recent finals, Serena has struggled to get her feet moving in all three. I thought she looked extremely nervous ahead of the Wimbledon final.

I think Serena will face another inspired opponent and I see Andreescu totally getting up for this final. What is most remarkable to me is that Andreescu was heavily tipped for this tournament and she’s delivered with all this hype and expectation swooshing around her. To reiterate again, Andreescu’s ability to find her best tennis in the big moments against the best players in the world is really special.

I am not going to pretend I have a clue who wins this one šŸ˜‚šŸ˜‚šŸ˜‚. I went for Serena to win the last three finals she was in so I am definitely hesitant this time. You have to think if Serena keeps putting herself into these positions that it’s going to happen sooner rather than later. Normally I would urge on the side of caution with a player competing in their first Slam final but Andreescu has handled all these ventures into uncharted territory rather beautifully. I’m going on holiday tomorrow but hoping to find a way to watch the final šŸ˜Š.

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22 thoughts on “US Open 2019, Day 11: Serena Williams vs. Bianca Andreescu for the title

  1. I really want the Serena who won 23 Grand Slams to show up in this final. It’s kind of bizarre how many Slams she’s dominated these past few years, only to play a real stinker in the final. Especially when she used to be near impossible to beat in a Slam final! I want to believe that Serena will know that this match is pretty 50-50, and show sharp and focused, instead of the nervous wreck who showed in the past 3 Slams.


  2. During the 2015 Wimbledon championships, there was a fun set of interviews where the players were interviewed for the job of Wimbledon champion and asked why they thought they deserved the job. Most of the players answered in the spirit of the thing, but Serena answered seriously; “Because I am the best problem solver out there.”

    I feel we’re in a similar situation to Wimbledon 2016, where Serena hit a streak of good form that made her virtually unplayable until the final (where Angie was also playing very well but couldn’t prevail). Bianca’s obviously very good but I think she’ll get just the one set today.

    Serena in 3 sets.


  3. BTW, I’m disappointed to find that once again at the US Open the match hasn’t been given its own time slot and has to follow the mixed doubles final instead. For a grand slam singles final this won’t do IMO.


  4. Anyway, congratulations to Bianca on her first grand slam title (and I’d be very surprised if there aren’t others to follow in the future). She was almost uncannily calm and focused during the match, even when the crowd was going wild in the second set as Serena was fighting back (the umpire had to ask them to cool it at one point).

    Whatever form of meditation she practices, she’s an excellent advert for it.

    P.S. Simona sent Bianca her congratulations on Twitter, and said that Romania was proud of her (which I thought was nice). I didn’t realise that she was the one who advised Bianca to turn professional when she was 16.


  5. What are others here’s views on Kim Clijsters returning to professional tennis? I think she’s very brave to try it again (wouldn’t mind seeing Justine playing again either), and am interested to see how she gets on against today’s players.


    • I heard once that Pete sampras was returning to the atp tour in order to stop Roger Federer from breaking his GS record. Well he never actually returned and even if he had, he would not have been able to compete with likes of ROGER,RAFA AND novak at that age.
      Similarly I don’t think that kim (if she returns) will be able to amass any worthy wins. Maybe one or two over low ranked players but not against top 100. Moreover she has got to he healthy in order to compete properly, look how overweight she is these days. I respect her decision but I personally dont think that it is a wise decision.
      P.S: I used to be a fan of her when she was a player. So nothing is againt her. I still am delighted but obvious cannot be ignored. I’d be very disappointed if she fails to win anything and retires hurt in 2 or 3 months


      • Yeah I see it as being a bit of a boredom decision, much like Bartoli a couple years ago. I can’t see her doing anything noteworthy…


    • How about doubles, let’s say a team up with Serena herself. They’d have complimenting styles.
      šŸ™‚ Create a ‘mom-fest’ energy at matches, schooling a few Gen Z-ers along the way.

      Anyway, it would be Kim’s third coming, not sure how that would play out. If I recall correctly, Justine resigning her racquet, I never felt she would want to come back. Justine had a unique perspective on the game I think, didn’t even peg her as one to consider coaching whereas I thought Kim probably could if she was interested.


  6. Well I’m still raw that we got another choke performance from Serena. It’s devastating that this will be another Slam where she was the best player by some distance, but couldn’t get the win.

    But it’s so exciting for Andreescu. I feel like she will be the one to beat in Shenzhen!


    • Well I don’t think serena played with nerves, it was bold performance from bianca. She didn’t let serena play her game. maybe serena was not yet preoared for andreesus game whose forehand id say is a huge huge weapon.


    • I am sure I’m wrong šŸ™‚ , but this is what I’ve settled on to solve her conundrum. Simply forget about the numbers and play. To get a Slam win, the least you can do is make the final. She does this well playing within herself with her talent. She gets to the final and the ‘dangling success’ she’s after is without herself. This mentally alters the challenge. Worse still an opponent who is also hungry and is cherishing this moment as this title is one of a first for them and not an umpteenth opportunity at glory. Ah well, nothing is really lost. Who knows, there is next year.


      • Yeah she had this tension when she was trying to catch Martina and Chrissie too, but she got over it. I think the difference this time is that she knows her body won’t hold out forever! Makes the pressure that much greater!


  7. Alison (Riske) and Aryna (Sabalenka) are in the final in Wuhan today – two finalists I wasn’t expecting to come through their respective semis, but it should be a good match nonetheless. If it is true that there’s a “marriage fillip” effect, where players do much better just after getting married, Alison’s a prime example of it (as were Domi Cibulkova and Elena Vesnina).

    Hope Simona gets well soon after having to retire from her match against Elena Rybakina with back problems.


  8. Congratulations today to two title winners; Jelena Ostapenko, who won in Luxembourg, and Belinda Bencic who won the title in Moscow. (Belinda also qualified for the WTA Finals by reaching the Moscow final, and for the first time.)

    Marion Bartoli’s been coaching Jelena recently and seems to be doing her a lot of good; in particular, her serve’s really improved. I hope they can find a way to continue working together next year.


  9. Svitolina back in the final at the Finals. These slow hard courts are just such a good fit for her game! Really rooting for her to lift the trophy against Ash/Kaja


    • I don’t have a strong preference now as neither one is the player I hoped would make the final from the semis.

      I was hoping Belinda would make the final after Kiki went out, and that Karo would beat Ash Barty yesterday, but Ash has clearly learnt Aga’s trick of keeping the ball very low with taller players (like Karo) so that they struggle to get traction on their shots. Elina in her turn has learnt how to “win ugly” in Brad Gilbert’s phrase – continually making Belinda play one more shot or run to the corners until her already cramping body couldn’t take any more.

      Should be a great final anyway. Either one could win but I think Ash will just edge it for her first ever win over Elina.


  10. Great Fed Cup win for France! Kiki (Mladenovic) in particular excelled herself in winning both her singles matches (including a three-setter against World No 1 Ash Barty, who’s definitely not easy to beat) and, along with Caro Garcia, her doubles match against Ash and Sam Stosur. Well deserved.

    In other news, Domi Cibulkova has announced her retirement from tennis. I for one shall miss the energy and never-say-die spirit she brought to the game. As the commentator said after her only slam final (the AO in 2014), she showed that players didn’t have to be big to be great.


    • Not surprised by the Domi retirement. I respected her for the reasons mentioned, Graham. I thought she was actually playing quite well before her final match but she had some tough draws in her final matches.


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