A few weeks ago, the 2019 U.S. Open Finals were held at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, Sept. 7 and 8. The finals featured Serena Williams versus Canada’s Bianca Andreescu for the women’s singles match and Rafael Nadal playing Russia’s Daniil Mendvedev. Both of these finals offered great record-breaking potential for Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal, and an exciting tennis season for fanatics everywhere.
Six-time U.S. Open Champion Serena Williams earned a silver medal, losing to Canadian tennis player Bianca Andreescu and 19-year-old rising star. This win was not just impressive in comparison to her accomplished competitor. Bianca Andreescu is the first Canadian to win a major singles title, as well as the first player to win the U.S. Open born in the 2000s. These firsts not only made history, but changed the game for Canadian and next generation tennis players.
Andreescu’s ascension to her No.5 ranking came with incredible speed: from barely making the U.S. Open qualifying rounds to her impressive win against Williams on Saturday. Andreescu’s rise has been so fast-paced that even Pam Shriver of ESPN is quoted saying, “I don’t think I’ve heard of you,” in an interview after the star won the semifinal round on Thursday. However, all eyes were on Andreescu by Saturday night when she won Grand Champion against Serena Williams. Many are excited to see where Andresscu’s career goes. As she is already so young and talented, there is lots of room for improvement and success in her fledgling career.
On the other side of the net, Serena Williams’ last win was at the 2017 Australian U.S. Open. This win finished her career’s biggest dry spell: prior to 2017, not winning any major titles since 2014. This is a significant fall after coming tantalizingly close to beating Australian tennis player Margaret Court’s Grand Slam Record. Serena Williams’ twenty-three grand Slam championship titles passes every other player in tennis history–man or woman–except for Margaret Court’s twenty-four Grand Slam titles in 1975. The 2019 U.S. Open championship offered Williams a chance to not only redeem herself, but meet Cort’s historic record. This would have been monumental for Williams, however it seems her ascension through the ranks as an international tennis sensation may be coming to a close. This upcoming year will be a good indicator for the trajectory of Williams’ career.
In the men’s singles match, Nadar came one step closer to beating Roger Federer’s twenty Grand Slam championship titles. His win against Daniil Mendvedev awarded him a 19th Grand Slam championship title, taking away what could have been 23-year-old Mendvedev’s first championship title.
Both of these matches left viewers on the edge of their seat as age-old sensations battled young, up-and-coming prodigies for record-breaking Grand Slam titles. Rafael Nadal’s win and Serena Williams’ loss made for a gut-wrenching couple of matches for the conclusion of the 2019 U.S. Open. It will be interesting to see how the two fair in upcoming matches, and where the careers of these young tennis sensations will go from here.
Sources: Time, Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, New York Times