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Serena's shocked in thriller.

Byline: | Gary Ralston

Serena Williams crumbled under the weight of history last night as teenager Bianca Andreescu won the US Open.

Williams was riddled with anxiety and outgunned in New York as the Canadian came through 6-3 7-5 in front of a crowd that included Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.

The American, just over a fortnight shy of turning 38, missed out on the chance to match Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam crowns.

Despite Williams rallying in the second set, coming back from a championship point and 5-1 down, the 19-year-old showed astonishing mental strength to break her rival again at 6-5 and take the match.

On being 5-1 down in the second, Williams said: "I was just fighting, trying to stay out there a little bit longer.

"The fans started cheering so hard and it made me feel better and fight a bit more. Bianca played an unbelievable match, I am so proud and happy for her. It was incredible tennis out there. If anyone could win this - outside of Venus - I'm happy it's Bianca."

Williams had played some flawless tennis at Flushing Meadows but wilted against the burden of expectation.

Exposed by the poverty of a first serve that found its target on only 44 per cent of attempts, she went on to lose her fourth Slam final in a row.

This was the largest age gap between Grand Slam finalists in the Open era. But Andreescu held her composure in the highly-charged atmosphere of Arthur Ashe to perform like a veteran and become the first Canadian to win a Slam.

Addressing the crowd, she said: "I know you guys wanted Serena to win, I'm so sorry.

"Obviously it was expected for Serena to fight back but I tried my best to block everything out. I'm glad with how I managed. Last year wasn't an easy period in my life with injuries but I persevered and told myself not to give up."



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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 8, 2019
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