We’ve got two players at opposite ends of their careers. A 37-year-old legend of the game with 23 Slams, 72 Career titles, over US$90 million in prize money who is trying to squeeze every ounce out of a Hall of Fame career vs a 19 year old who only turned pro two years ago, couldn’t make it through qualifying at last years’ US Open but has now found herself one win away from the title. Bianca Andreescu is a player who has lit it up this season, winning the big events in Indian Wells and Toronto. This could be a match to remember.
The US Open was Serena’s very first ever Slam title, as a 17 year old way back in 1999, a year that Andreescu wasn’t even born. Three years after that Serena at the US Open unveiled the famous Puma cat suit, when Andreescu was a two-year-old toddler, the fact that Serena can still put herself in these Slam finals is absolutely incredible.
Why Serena will win
Straight up if you were to dissect these two players, really break down their games, Serena wins the vast majority of matches. She has a bigger serve, both first and second, more powerful groundstrokes and plays further up on the baseline. If this final was clean, just these two playing on a public court without anyone watching, without any of the history, drama or intrigue, then Serena wins, but of course we know its not, if Serena blocks out whatever is happening around her then she’ll reach 24 Slams.
Why Andreescu will win
Since giving birth and vying to tie Margaret Court’s record of 24 Slams, Serena has lost three Grand Slam finals, Halep at Wimbledon a few months back and last season to Osaka at the US Open and Kerber at Wimbledon. In all those finals Serena looked slow, a sure sign of nerves, she realized time is running is out, this isn’t the only chance for Andreescu to win but it’s a big one. The Canadian has a good solid game, built on an aggressive forehand and subtle changes of pace, is that enough to beat Serena, probably not, but Andreescu has something else, call it whatever you like, a bit of mongrel, an edge, she likes a scrap, if this match gets close at the end, don’t be surprised if Serena is the first to blink.
They have played before, in the Toronto final earlier this year, but you can throw that away, Serena retired with injury down 3-1, plus this is a Grand Slam final so you can discount that even more. This match will be about pressure, Serena knowing the clock is ticking, for her to equal and pass Margaret and for Andreescu in how she deals with the occasion but players recently have dealt with the moment before, nine out of the last sixteen slam winners in the women’s game have been first time slam champions.
Serena has looked good these two weeks, only losing a set to the teenager Catherine McNally in the second round, but truth be told she hasn’t played anybody that has competed like Andreescu before, her two potential toughest opponents, Sharapova in the 1stround is a shadow of her former self and Svitolina in the semi’s played the wrong tactics in hitting her groundstrokes from so far back she could have sipped a drink from a punter in the front row.
I have a feeling Andreescu is going to take it to Serena and try to turn this into a street fight. Winning Toronto and Indian Wells aren’t slams but they’re still pretty big events, she knows how to win big matches, Bencic in the semi’s was a good test, I really think Andreescu can win this, she’s not intimated by Serena and I don’t think she will be by the moment. I’m tipping the Canadian to win her first Grand Slam in 3 sets.