Nadal edges one closer to Roger, while Williams continues poor final form – to the elation of Bianca Andreescu
Bianca Andreescu becomes the first teenager to win her maiden Grand Slam since Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004. The Canadian defeated Serena Williams, 37, in straight sets in the all North American US Open Final; meanwhile, Nadal edges one closer to Federer in overall Grand Slam titles, as he played with equanimity in the deciding set against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev.
Andreescu played with great confidence and kept strong against the 23 Grand Slam winner. The 19-year-old won 6-3 7-5, as she stayed calm and played with confidence to secure her first Grand Slam.
While Andreescu did play well, it cannot be omitted that Williams was not at her best. Williams had been broken three times in the six matches which led to the final, in the final she was broken six times in two sets; she only managed to get 44% of her first serves in, and gave away eight double faults. The achievement made by Andreescu should be celebrated, and I’m sure she will, but Williams has developed a clear problem with finals – this being her fourth consecutive loss. It began with her Wimbledon 2018 loss, which took place just 10 months after her complicated pregnancy, before then extending her losing streak in the US Open last year and Wimbledon earlier this summer.
While it is unfair to say that any of these champions, Kerber, Osaka, Halep, or Andreescu, won because of Williams poor form in finals, there is clearly an issue Williams’ is facing as she repeatedly is not playing her best on the biggest stage. One milestone which may have led to her underperforming in finals is that of Australian Margaret’s 24 Grand Slam titles, with Serena Williams being one-off, the pressure to be the most decorated tennis player may be affecting her game. Nonetheless, this is a fantastic achievement for Andreescu, and at the age of 19, she may start to look to the heights of Williams as her target.
Concurrently in the Men’s Final, Nadal gets one closer to, long-time rival, Roger Federer, as he defeated Russia’s Medvedev over five sets. The Spaniard was cruising, winning the first two sets, however, Medvedev showed some real steel and brought the game back from where a lot of players would have failed. After sometimes being a contentious figure throughout the tournament, including being fined $9,000 (£7,400) for unsportsmanlike behaviour, Medvedev won back a lot of supporters back with his stunning comeback and his graciousness in defeat. Medvedev gave Nadal exaltation in his speech, “I just want to congratulate Rafa, a 19th Grand Slam title is something unbelievable, outrageous.”
The Spanish star was quick to state that he had no interest in Roger’s record, “I play to be happy. Of course, the victory today makes me super happy. But a few weeks ago, I won in Montreal and [that was] an important moment for me, too […] I am playing tennis because I love to play tennis.”
All tennis stars will be looking to gain some confidence in the WTP tours, before the Australian Grand Slam in January. For British star Johanna Konta, Australian born, she will be aiming to repeat and hopefully do one better than her 2016 Australian semi-final performance.