US Open 2019: Bianca Andreescu enters maiden Grand Slam final with win over Belinda Bencic
Nothing could stop Bianca Andreescu at the US Open on Thursday night. The 19-year-old, making her debut in the tournament's main draw, is one step from a Grand Slam title after overcoming a deficit in the second set to defeat Belinda Bencic 7-6(3), 7-5 at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The two women had played six months of incredible tennis dating back to Dubai for Bencic and Indian Wells for Andreescu. The hard-hitting Canadian has used her powerful ATP-like forehand to succeed in many big tournaments this year. Bencic meanwhile has gone deep in many tournaments after her win in Dubai.
In what was a maiden Slam semifinal for both players, Bencic handled her serve well to start the match but Andreescu matched her hold for hold. The set remained dead even until the fourth game when Bencic forced deuce and tried to gain the AD point twice but fell short of the break point. She went on to hold in the fifth, fighting for every point against the Canadian.
Bencic had two break points in the next game but lost them as the 19-year-old forced deuce. Andreescu needed four AD points before she could lock down the hold.
The Canadian saved six break points throughout the set, including a set point at 4-5, but managed to take it into a tiebreaker.She then jumped out to a 5-0 run, winning eight points in a row, before Bencic regained her bearings to win three straight.
Despite the Swiss' fight, Andreescu won the ninth point for set point that led to the 15th seed taking the set after one hour and nine minutes.
Andreescu made five double faults in the first set, but the mistakes took little away from how well she handled Bencic and her game. She struck 25 winners to counter the 20 errors she committed, giving her the confidence to continue her path into the second set.
But Bencic responded with a break in the very first game, instantly changing the complexion of the match. The 13th seed consolidated the break with another comfortable hold, and Andreescu then had to stave off double break point to get on the board.
Bencic soon opened up a 4-1 lead and looked set to force a decider. Andreescu answered by getting a break back in the sixth, hoping to reel the 22-year-old back in, but Bencic had the Canadian on the run again in the seventh.
The Swiss served for the set at 5-2, but some brilliant return winners kept the 19-year-old in the running. A hold from the surging World No. 15 put her in reach of leveling the score; she needed just one more break to bring back parity.
That came in the 10th game as Bencic's fourth double fault made it 5-5. The Swiss gave the crowd a sarcastic thumbs-up for distracting her during her service motion, but there was little she could do about it.
The 19-year-old maintained her momentum and stayed focused against the rattled Bencic; she took a 6-5 lead and forced the Swiss to serve to stay in the match.
Mistakes on the backhand in the 12th game led to Bencic giving Andreescu match point, but she saved it through a superb backhand to force deuce. After more errors from the Swiss, the third match point was the charm that gave the Canadian the biggest win of her life after two hours and 12 minutes.