No spam ever. Unsubscribe in one click. By submitting your email address, you indicate your consent to receiving email marketing messages from us.

Serena vs Andreescu tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – The queen meets the upstart in the US Open final

Hannah Wilks in WTA Tour 7 Sep 2019
  • Serena Williams faces Bianca Andreescu in the final of the 2019 US Open
  • Williams vs Andreescu is live from New York on Saturday at 4pm local/9pm BST
Serena Williams (PA Sports)

Serena Williams is a heartbeat from history – again – as she bids for a seventh US Open title, but she faces a fearless and phenomenal young opponent in Canada’s Bianca Andreescu. 

*Geo-restrictions apply. Streams available to customers with an active balance

Can Serena Williams break her run of Grand Slam final defeats at her home major, or will Bianca Andreescu’s meteoric rise propel her to the US Open title?

Never before, in Williams’s extraordinary career, has she lost three major finals in a row, but that’s the context in which she comes into this US Open final. Not only has she lost all those finals, she hasn’t even got a set in any of them, losing 3-6, 3-6 to Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon in 2018, 2-6, 2-4 to Naomi Osaka in last year’s US Open final and 2-6, 2-6 to Simona Halep at this year’s Wimbledon.

Williams looks prepared for this US Open final (PA Sports)
In each of those finals, Williams has faced an opponent playing unbelievable tennis – Halep at Wimbledon in particular played perhaps the greatest match of her career – but an opponent she could have made life much more difficult for, if not beaten, had she herself played to the standard she had produced to get to that final. 

Williams has more than enough reason to feel pressure. In addition to trying to win her first major since becoming a mother, something which one senses means a tremendous amount to her, she is trying to tie Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 majors – something that has been built up way too much, considering that many of Court’s titles were won in the amateur era against less-than-impressive opposition, but anyway. And that will only be intensified at the US Open. Not so much because of the numbers that are on the line there, although she can break the tie with Chris Evert for both most titles won and most matches won if she wins the final, but because the US Open seems to bring out anxieties and difficulties for Williams no other tournament does, as her fraught history here suggests.

And yet, Williams might be approaching this Grand Slam final in far better shape than she has any of the past three. Arguably, this is only the second major she’s played since returning from maternity leave that she’s been actually in real playing condition for – the first being the Australian Open, where she suffered the bad luck of an ankle injury in the quarterfinals. Last year, Williams wasn’t really in condition; this year, she wasn’t really fit to play the French Open as she struggled with a knee injury that decimated the first half of her season, and although she was pain-free at Wimbledon, she hadn’t had time to train and prepare. 

Coming into the US Open, she not only had the opportunity to undergo a proper training bloc, but actually got to play more than a couple of matches in preparation, at the Rogers Cup where she made the final (although had to retire with back spasms).

I think it’s shown in Williams’s US Open campaign so far, which has seen her drop just one set – against Caty McNally in the second round – and saw her overcome a potentially tough opponent in Elina Svitolina with a workmanlike performance in the semifinals. Neither woman played their best tennis, but Williams, apart from struggling in her first two service games, was in total charge throughout the 6-4, 6-1 win. Most impressively, and most significantly, she moved really well when she had to, her footwork looking better than since before she had her daughter, having great success in both attacking the net and chasing down short balls.

This is significant, because against Bianca Andreescu, Williams is not going to have the opportunity to play the whole match on her own terms.

Early, and certainly meteoric, success can be a mirage – witness the career of Andreescu’s compatriot Eugenie Bouchard – but in Bianca Andreescu, tennis certainly does seem to have found itself a real livewire of a young talent.

Bianca Andreescu is seemingly fearless (PA Sports)
This is only Andreescu’s second appearance at the US Open (she lost in qualifying last year), and just her third tournament since Miami, and yet the most surprising thing about her run to the final in New York is how unsurprising it feels. That’s the scale of the Canadian’s talent, which is aligned, seemingly, with competitive grit – grit that was on full display in her semifinal win over Belinda Bencic, which saw her fend off six break points in the opening set (including a set point saved with an audacious forehand winner) before clinching it in a tie-break, then reel off five games in a row to come back from 2-5 down in the second set and clinch the match 7-6(3), 7-5.

Asked where her audacity comes from, Andreescu said:

‘I really don't know how to answer that. I think it's just inside of me somehow. I think it's just my passion for the game, as well. I don't like to lose, so I just try my best every match.

‘I expect a lot from myself, so I think that pressure also helps me do my best in matches.’

There’s certainly been no indication, in Andreescu’s seven previous encounters with top-10 players this year, or the way that she took the court at the Rogers Cup with all that pressure of home expectation on her, that she will be at all crippled by nerves when she takes the court for her first ever Grand Slam final on Saturday.

In so many ways, it’s an ideal situation for Andreescu – if she wins, it’s one of the most stunning Grand Slam victories of all time; if she loses, she’s lost to the greatest of all time. That’s one reason why I think the challenge she poses to Williams on Saturday will be stern. The other is her game. One of the things that makes Andreescu stand out is the fact that she’s not just a ballstriker – she’s a player, with a ton of options in her game, a seemingly innate ability to construct and craft points, and the ability to confound her opponents.

She plays with a lot of variety, and her game doesn’t look like a lot of other players; meanwhile, she doesn’t lack for power. It’s a tricky recipe for Williams, who tends to stumble when presented with opponents who play unconventional games, particularly when it comes to finding ways to employ slice, or mix up the rhythm. And Andreescu’s ability to stretch out wide to her backhand side and still find great power and control on that ball, in particular, will stand her in good stead against Williams’s cross-court, three-quarter forehand, perhaps her most consistently devastating weapon off the ground.

That said, Williams is a challenge like Andreescu has never faced, and playing four games against a pain-hampered Serena in Toronto doesn’t count either. No other opponent has placed Andreescu’s serve under the consistent pressure that Williams will on return, and I think we’re going to see a lot of double faults from the Canadian on Saturday. Above all, I think Williams is ready for this final in a way that she hasn’t been for her past three. Andreescu may well take a set – she’s a real threat – but in this case, I think the threat will be what brings out the best from the queen of New York.

Williams vs Andreescu US Open tennis is live from New York on Saturday at 4pm local/9pm BST

Share this with your friends

Your comments:

Serena vs Andreescu tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – The queen meets the upstart in the US Open final

Serena Williams vs Bianca Andreescu live streaming, preview and predictions for the US Open women’s final on Saturday 7 September: Can Williams snap a three-match losing streak in Grand Slam finals as she faces the audacious, unpredictable Andreescu?

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages