Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu claimed her first Grand Slam title in a hard-hitting, nerve-jangling 6-3 7-5 win over Serena Williams that put the brakes on the American’s bid to equal the all-time record.
Andreescu matched Williams’ power throughout the slug fest and kept her composure under intense pressure to fend off a late comeback from the six-times champion.
The 19-year-old dropped her racket after hitting a blistering forehand return winner on match point to seal victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium and collapsed on her back after embracing her defeated opponent.
“It’s so hard to explain (what the win means) in words,” Andreescu said.
“I’m just beyond grateful and truly blessed. I’ve worked really, really hard for this moment and I can’t complain. This year has been a dream come true,” she added before collecting her $3.85 million (£3.14 million) winner’s cheque.
“And now to be able to play on this stage against Serena, a true legend of the sport, is amazing.”
Andreescu, the first Canadian to win a major in the professional era, prevented Williams from equaling Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.
Serena Williams, who has been denied the milestone in four slam finals since claiming her last major title at the Australian Open in 2017, was gracious in defeat.
“Bianca played an unbelievable match,” she said.
“If anyone else could win the U.S. Open — except for Venus — I’m glad it’s Bianca,” she said with a laugh, referring to her older sister who had cheered her on from the players’ box, which also included Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.