Suga hates to say it and it was hard to watch, but Serena let the thought of winning to even the 24 Grand Slam title record get in her head again. It was all about Serena’s start and you could tell from her being broken in the first game on serve, then losing the first set, 3-6, that she was likely to lose, yet another Championship after returning from having her baby.
I’m not knocking young 19-year old Bianca Andreescu’s game, but Serena was tight and was not even able to get a 1st serve in. When did Serena loosen up somewhat? Being down 1-5 in the 2nd set and facing Championship point! Serena fought back to 5-all in the 2nd, then the Canadian, Andreescu finally held her serve to go up 6-5 putting the pressure back on Serena to force a tie break for a 3rd set. Serena tightened up again with a double fault or 2, I can’t remember with the roaring crowd who came to witness the history of Serena winning a 24th major. Andreescu was back at Championship point, capitalised on making a good return from a slow 2nd serve and became the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam Title. She is also the first teenager to win one since Sharapova in 2006 and the first woman to win a Grand Slam title on her 1st Final debut. Bianca was absolutely fearless and looks like a young Serena in the making. She is an all-rounder, being a hard-hitter, great on returns and has a powerful serve. Congrats to Bianca Andreescu!
Many have given up on Serena and after yesterday’s 4th straight Grand Slam final loss, I almost did too. But she shouldn’t give up yet and I don’t think she will. She missed a great opportunity with all the big names such as Halep, Kerber, Osaka etc. being out and she could have used experience to win, but it just was not time. It is the best we have seen her move since returning from having a child, but her preparation time was still cut short with injuries previous to this US Open. If she can keep herself injury free and bring back what sportswriter Lindsay Gibbs dubbed, ‘Catsuit tennis’, and maybe even keep the Duchess of Sussex out her player’s box, maybe she can get to 24.
For Serena Williams, the best is still unwritten. But on a brighter note, Women’s tennis is alive again! This has been the most exciting, competitive tennis I have seen from the women in a long time and it was great to watch. I am excited about Andreescu. I love her fearless style of play, loose yet controlled and her personality. She came from 105 in the world to no. 15 in just 1 year. She did not qualify for last year’s US Open and is now the US Open Champion. Congratulations again Bianca! She won 6-3, 7-5.
We look forward to seeing her fashionista Mom and dog, Coco in the stands again soon too!
THE MEN’S FINAL
I do not have as much to say about the men, the quieter side this time around. But do we finally see a threat to the big 3 with the Russian, Daniil Medvedev? I hope so!
Medvedev won back the respect of the US Open crowd after an angry moment with a ball boy and a few words thrown at a booing crowd in the round of 16. He did it with his ability to give the crowd what they wanted – more tennis! He went from looking like he was going to lose in straight sets, to challenging Rafael Nadal to 5-sets in the US Open Final. He somehow had a moment with his shoe at 2-2 in the 5th set, his game was thrown off a bit and it went downhill from there for him to be down 2-4 after Nadal looked like he was going to give him that game at 2-2 to save energy for his service game because he was losing the majority of long rallies.
Nadal’s first service percentage was low in this final too, but he did not let it affect his game. It was more so, lack of energy and well, age that started to show. But as a true Champion and the warrior that Nadal is, even though Medvedev fought back to 4-4, he played well and was able to come knocking on Federer’s door to win his 19th Grand Slam title and 4th US Open title, 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4. He capitalised on his opportunity with Federer out early and world no. 1 Djokovic retiring with a shoulder injury in the round of 16. Well done, well fought and Congrats Rafa! When he won, a screen showed all the moments from his Grand Slam title wins and Nadal was emotional, just like in a telenovela. Medvedev joked that it was a good thing Nadal won, because if he did, they would have nothing to show. Medvedev definitely won a lot of fans at the US open and I am one of them.
Now, let the argument of who is the G.O.A.T begin!
Spectacular Open. See you next year!
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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