For the second straight year in Flushing Meadows, Serena Williams found herself in a U.S. Open Final against a rising young teenage star. Last year, Serena fell to 17 year old Naomi Osaka of Japan in straight sets, only to do the same Saturday afternoon to Canadian Bianca Andreescu who is just 19 years old.
Ever since giving birth to her daughter in September of 2017, Serena has been unable to win a grand slam. She lost in the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in consecutive attempts. It’s as frustrating as it gets because this Open was her best chance to win one and tie with Margaret Court (24) for the most women’s grand slam titles. Serena sits at 23 and she’s 36 years old. Time is not on her side.
Andreescu, on the other hand, makes history, becoming the first Canadian man or woman to win the U.S. Open, a year after Osaka was the first Japanese born to accomplish the feat. Andreescu’s power was like nothing Serena had seen all tournament. She managed to close out Serena in straight sets even as Williams came back from being 5-1 down to tie it at 5-5 in the second set. Andreescu is now 11-0 against top 10 players in her career. For Williams, maybe the best female tennis player of all time, losing to two teenagers in consecutive U.S. Open finals is something of a shock. Her experience should have propelled her, but it was her age that actually worked against her. Though the power side of her game remains strong, Williams’ is getting slower and older while the game is getting fitter and younger. Her window is nearly shut on breaking Court’s record. Her next chance is the 2020 Australian Open – she’ll be one year older.