Bianca Andreescu composes herself for remarkable victory over Serena Williams

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Bianca Andreescu was congratulated by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after her stunning US Open victory over Serena Williams.

The 19-year-old from Mississauga, near Toronto, shocked the 23-time grand slam champion 6-3, 7-5 to win her first major trophy in her first major final.

As well becoming the first woman to triumph at Flushing Meadows on her main draw debut, Andreescu is also the first Canadian to win a grand slam title.

Prime minister Trudeau tweeted: “Congratulations. You’ve made history and made a whole country very proud.”

The Duchess of Sussex was in Williams’ box to cheer her close friend towards what was widely expected to be a record-equalling 24th grand slam title.

But the woman appearing in her first major final dealt with the occasion far better than the woman playing in her 33rd.

Williams’s first serve deserted her, with just a wretched 44 per cent of them hitting the spot. Having been broken just three times all fortnight, she dropped serve six times in the final, including the first game and the last.

Bianca Andreescu

The 37-year-old is nothing if not a fighter, though. Andreescu had a championship point at 5-1 in the second set but Williams, roared on by a vociferous crowd on Arthur Ashe, hauled herself back to 5-5.

Andrescu put her fingers in her ears at one point, later admitting: “I couldn’t hear myself think.”

At the changeover at 6-5, Andreescu composed herself in the chair before holding her nerve to fashion two more match points and belting the second past the six-time champion for a remarkable victory.

“I told myself to put the goddamn ball inside the court,” she said.

“I wanted to win the first point to show her that I am in it to win it. It was really, really loud. But I guess that’s what makes this tournament so special.

“I’m sure it’s really nice for the Americans to come on that court. I’ve heard a lot of cheering from other people for me, so I’m really happy with that.

“But it definitely wasn’t easy, especially when she started coming back in the second set.

“I mean, it was expected. She’s a champion. That’s what champions do. She’s done that many, many times throughout her career.

“But I just tried to stay as composed as I could. It’s hard to just block everything out, but I think I did a pretty good job at that.”

Williams had lost acrimoniously at the same stage here last year to Naomi Osaka, as well as in the last two Wimbledon finals, to leave her still tantalisingly one title short of Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 majors.

The American was understandably frustrated with her performance, especially considering how well she played throughout the event.

“I was thinking ‘OK Serena, you didn’t miss a serve in the whole tournament, and you didn’t hit a first serve in today’,” she said.

“That was obviously on my mind, like how do I play at a level like this in a final?

“Bianca obviously played well. At the same time it’s inexcusable for me to play at that level.

“I honestly don’t think Serena showed up. I have to kind of figure out how to get her to show up in grand slam finals.”

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Bianca Andreescu's stunning upset denies Serena Williams historic US Open victory

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Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu denied Serena Williams a historic US Open victory in a stunning upset at Flushing Meadows.

Williams was widely expected to brush aside 19-year-old Andreescu, playing in her first grand slam final, to bring up her record-equalling 24th major title.

But, for the fourth time of asking since she returned to the sport after giving birth, Williams fell at the final hurdle, Andreescu shocking a packed and partisan Arthur Ashe Stadium with a 6-3, 7-5 win.

Williams had lost acrimoniously at the same stage here last year to Naomi Osaka, as well as in the last two Wimbledon finals, as she desperately attempts to match Margaret Court’s all-time record.

The American’s footwork, and her first serve, deserted her for most of the match until, at 5-1 down in the second set and facing championship point, she mounted an unlikely comeback.

But Andreescu, who was not even born when Williams won her first US Open title in 1999, stood up to her illustrious opponent and held her nerve for a famous win.

The youngster has enjoyed a rapid rise, climbing from 208 in the world this time last year, when she lost in qualifying, to a projected place in the top five.

Andreescu is now the first Canadian grand slam champion and the first woman to win here on their main draw debut.

With her close friend Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, watching with her mother, husband and coach, Williams began well enough with an ace, but successive double faults at deuce gave Andreescu a break in the opening game.

A fierce exchange of volleys at the net was won by Williams and seemed to wake her up as she got on the board for 2-1.

But, by the time the score reached 4-2, Andreescu was the one cranking up the pressure and, as one winner flashed past, Williams turned to her box, swinging her racket in frustration.

Williams somehow survived five break points and in the next game forced one of her own.

Andreescu wriggled out of that with an ace and then promptly broke to close out the opening set before racing into a 2-0 lead in the second.

Williams got back on serve, though, needing four break points and a lucky net chord to finally lay a glove on her opponent.

Even that did not faze Andreescu, who pounced on more misfiring serves and broke straight back.

Leading 5-1 and with the finishing line in sight Adreescu understandably tightened, Williams saving a championship point before twice breaking back as the crowd volume increased to ear-splitting levels.

At 5-5 Andreescu managed a gutsy hold and then brought up two more championship points, seizing her chance with the second of them, a clubbing forehand winner for a remarkable victory.

Andreescu said: “It’s so hard to explain, but I’m just beyond grateful and truly blessed.

“I’ve worked hard. This year has been a dream come true and to play here on this stage with Serena, a true legend of the sport, is amazing.

“Oh man, it wasn’t easy. I tried to prepare my best and tried not to focus on who I’m playing. It’s easy to say but I’m really proud with how I dealt with everything.

“Obviously it was expected for Serena to fight back, that’s why she’s a true champion. I tried to block everything out. That last game was not easy.”

Williams at least showed she has lost none of her fighting spirit in that ultimately unsuccessful comeback.

She said: “I was just fighting at that point, trying to stay out there a little bit longer, and the fans started cheering so hard it made me play a bit better and fight a bit harder.

“Bianca played an unbelievable match. I’m so proud and happy for you. If anyone else could win this tournament – outside of Venus – then I’m happy it’s Bianca.”

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Rafael Nadal pushes past Diego Schwartzman and into US Open semis

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Rafa Nadal

Rafael Nadal moved a step closer to a fourth US Open title with a straight-sets, but far from straightforward, win over Diego Schwartzman in their quarter-final at Flushing Meadows.

The world number two led 4-0 in the first set and 5-1 in the second, but Argentinian 20th seed Schwartzman came back to level both.

Nadal’s forehand seemed to desert him at times and he required treatment on his left forearm, a worry given that injuries have already accounted for, or contributed to, the demise of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

As the last of the ‘big three’ still standing, Nadal knows he has a golden opportunity to take a huge step towards overhauling Federer’s record of 20 grand slam titles.

He will be one behind the Swiss great, and three clear of Djokovic, if he completes the job here on Sunday.

And while at 38, Federer’s chances of adding to his tally are surely waning, the 33-year-old Nadal, fitness permitting, will almost inevitably collect a 13th French Open title next year.

When Nadal raced two breaks ahead in the opening set, he could hardly have imagined it would take the best part of an hour to claim it. And the pattern was repeated in the second.

Nevertheless, Nadal wrapped up 6-4 7-5 6-2 victory to set up a semi-final against Italian 24th seed Matteo Berrettini.

“It was straight sets but a big challenge,” Nadal said. “To see myself in the situation to lose both breaks in a row was tough.

“But I’m super happy with the way I accepted the challenge. Here I am, semi-finals, it means everything to me.

“Physically I’m fine. Today was a heavy day, big humidity, and I sweat a lot. I had some big moments at the end of the second set and beginning of the third, but the last few games I felt good again.

“Berrettini? I saw him play. He has big serves, big forehands, and is super confident. He makes big steps forward every week so it will be a big challenge. But now is the moment to keep going.”

Earlier 23-year-old Berrettini beat 13th seed Gael Monfils in the match of the tournament so far, finally sealing victory in a fifth-set tiebreak, 3-6 6-3 6-2 3-6 7-6 (5).

Berrettini needed five match points to fall over the line, having double-faulted with his first at 5-3 in the fifth.

It became a mental battle with an exhausted Monfils also double-faulting time after time at the climax.

His fifth double fault, in the tiebreaker, gave Berrettini two serves to win it, but Monfils passed him to haul one mini-break back, and the Italian netted the second.

But Berrettini came out on top in a brutal rally to bring up two more match points.

He was aced with the first, but when Monfils hit a service return long, Berrettini dropped to the floor on the baseline in disbelief.

Berrettini said: “Right now I can’t remember any points, just the match point – and the double fault!

“When I was playing I was thinking it was one of the best matches I had ever seen. I was playing, but I was watching, too. I’m really happy.”

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