Serena Williams to face teenager Bianca Andreescu in US Open final

American one win away from 24th grand slam singles title after demolishing Svitolina, while Canadian teenager continues dream run by edging past Bencic

Serena Williams celebrates her victory over Elina Svitolina in the US Open semi-final at Flushing Meadows on Thursday. AFP
Serena Williams celebrates her victory over Elina Svitolina in the US Open semi-final at Flushing Meadows on Thursday. AFP

Serena Williams will face Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu for the US Open crown after brushing aside Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-1 to move one win away from a record-equalling 24th grand slam singles title.

Canadian teenager Andreescu's dream run at Flushing Meadows continued as she powered past Belinda Bencic 7-6, 7-5 in Thursday's other semi-final.

Williams is seeking to match Margaret Court's all-time slam record and will face Andreescu in her bid for a record seventh US Open triumph.

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. It was also a record-equaling 101st win in New York.

"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.

fter 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.

Andreescu, 19, is just the second women's grand slam finalist from Canada – after Eugenie Bouchard at Wimbledon in 2014 – and will bid to become the first teen champion since Maria Sharapova won at Flushing Meadows in 2006.

"It's just surreal. I really don't know what to say. It's a dream come true playing Serena in the finals of the US open. It's crazy, it's crazy," Andreescu said.

"I think it's just all the hard work I've put in through the years. If someone told me a year ago I would be in the US Open final this year, I'd tell them they were crazy."

Bianca Andreescu after defeating Belinda Bencic in straight sets to reach the 2019 US Open final. AFP
Bianca Andreescu after defeating Belinda Bencic in straight sets on Thursday to reach the US Open final. AFP

Andreescu, in her US Open main draw debut, saved a set point in the opening set against fellow first-time grand slam semi-finalist Bencic, the 13th seed from Switzerland, before edging the tie-break.

She trailed by a double break at 5-2 in the second set but reeled off the final five games to set up a rematch of last month's Toronto final against Williams, who retired from that clash with a back injury.

"I've wanted to play her. I remember always telling my team I would have always wanted to play her right before she retires. I'm really looking forward to it. She's an amazing champion on and off the court. It's going to be fun," Andreescu said.

"A lot of emotions are running through my body right now. A lot of thoughts, too. But right now I'm just trying to take in the victory of tonight.

"Hopefully I can just keep the momentum going for the finals. Hopefully I can play a little bit better than I did today."

Updated: September 6, 2019 12:17 PM


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