A big sports year for Canada might get even bigger.
Playing in the U.S. Open main draw for the first time in her career, 19-year-old Canadian Bianca Andreescu defeated Belinda Bencic 7-6, 7-5 in their semifinal match to advance to the final.
Andreescu will be playing Saturday night to become the first player from her country, male or female, to win a Grand Slam singles title. She is the first Canadian woman to even advance to a U.S. Open final.
Andreescu outlasted the Swiss former teen prodigy Bencic, 22, in a lengthy match Thursday night in Flushing, New York. Both athletes were playing in the first major semifinal of their career.
The first set, which Andreescu won 7-6, lasted an hour and eight minutes – that single set was nearly as long as the first semifinal of the evening. Bencic went up 5-2 in the second set before Andreescu clawed her way back to win 7-5.
Andreescu-Williams final will be a study in contrasts
Andreescu will have to fight for the title, however, as she’ll face 37-year-old Serena Williams, going for her 24th Grand Slam win in her 33rd final; Williams won her first U.S. Open title before Andreescu was born.
The duo have gone head-to-head once – just last month in the Rogers Cup final. That match ended with Andreescu consoling a crying Williams, who had to retire from the match with a back injury.
“I've watched you your whole career,” Andreescu told Williams in Toronto. “You're a f—ing beast.”
With 18 years between them, the pair will have the largest age gap of any women’s finalists at a major in the Open Era.
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