There’s something about the power of will that you can’t quite put your finger on.
At its most forceful, a person’s will is like a magnetic force, propelling any object of their desire within arm’s reach, and those few who have that special gift, are able to grab it with both hands.
Six times Belinda Bencic had the chance to break Bianca Andreescu’s serve in the first set. Six times she couldn’t, or rather, the Mississauga native just wouldn’t let her. Bend but don’t break is the old cliche, and Andreescu didn’t despite the Swiss star looking the better player for much of the opening set.
When it came to shine in the tie-break, Andreescu was a woman possessed, reeling off the first five points before sealing the set five points later, delivering from every angle of the court. It’s been the most impressive part of her game, having every shot in the book at such a young age. But what makes her so special is her ability to figure out which combinations work best for which opponent, and then delivering what sometimes seem like high-risk shots with even higher rewards.
Then came adversity in the second set, where she trailed 4-1 and then 5-2. A final set seemed destined, and some players would have mailed it in, especially when said player has won 12 straight matches that have gone to a final set. Yet, she dug deep again and found a way. She broke once, held serve, and then broke once again. She’s 19. It’s uncanny.
As Andreescu hit full bloom, Bencic fell apart. The New York crowd that can be boisterous at the best of times started to get to her, the stage perhaps starting to seem a little too big. This, looking all the more stunning when considering how she calmly dispatched defending champion and top seed Naomi Osaka in straight sets.
Getting back on level terms wasn’t even enough for Andreescu, as she went ahead 6-5 and then put Bencic under tremendous pressure to stay in the match. The 22-year-old Swiss international buckled as many have been wont to do to Andreescu’s unrelenting will this year, and now the teenage sensation will play for her first Grand Slam title and Canada’s first major singles title on Saturday.
It will have to come against the greatest-of-all-time, Serena Williams, in a rematch of the Rogers Cup final, one that was cut short due to the 23-time Grand Slam champion’s ailing back. Williams has looked terrific all tournament, and she’s chasing some history of her own with the opportunity to tie Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 majors.
A classic final in the making featuring a Canadian. Andreescu wouldn’t let it be any other way.
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