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Bianca Andreescu: The teen star standing in the way of Serena Williams’ bid for record-equaling Slam

Bianca Andreescu: The teen star standing in the way of Serena Williams’ bid for record-equaling Slam The US Open women’s final is just around the corner, and if Serena William’s participation in the tournament-decider was predictable, her opponent Bianca Andreescu’s run at Flushing Meadows has been truly sensational.

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So, who is the 19-year-old Canadian ace who will be aiming to prevent US tennis legend Williams – a woman 18 years her senior – from sealing a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title when they meet at Arthur Ashe Stadium?

Andreescu’s name may not be familiar to many outside the sport, as her match on Saturday will mark her first Grand Slam final and what will be the biggest achievement of her career so far.

Andreescu has become the first Canadian player to progress to a singles final at the US Open. She beat Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in the semifinal to set up a meeting with Williams, who is eyeing her seventh US Open title.

Williams can also equal the legendary Margaret Court with 24 Grand Slam singles titles if she manages to beat her less-experienced opponent.

“If someone told me a year ago that I’d be in the finals of the US Open this year, I’d tell them you’re crazy,” Andreescu in an on-court interview following her semifinal.

The Canadian faced Williams just several weeks ago in the final of the Rogers Cup in Toronto, where the American tennis star pulled out early in the first set, citing a back injury.

Andreescu was seen consoling her afterwards, saying: “I’ve been watching your whole career, you’re a f*cking beast.”

Andreescu, ranked 15th in the world, can boast of just two WTA titles – both of which she has claimed in 2019. Apart from the Rogers Cup, which she was awarded after Williams’ withdrawal, she also took the Indian Wells title in March.

The player the entire tennis world is talking about was born in Canada to Romanian immigrant parents. She started playing tennis at age of seven in Pitești, when her mother moved back to Romania for business.

It was there that Andreescu was introduced to tennis, working under Gabriel Hristache. Two years later she moved back to Canada and began training at the Ontario Racquet Club in Mississauga.

In 2016, Andreescu claimed her first professional title at the Gatineau 25K tournament before making her professional senior debut next year.

Her first steps at senior level were not underwhelming as she was regularly knocked out in the opening stages of major tournaments. However, the 2019 season has been a breakthrough for the Canadian, who has made remarkable progress.

Andreescu has said that Romanian tennis player Simona Halep and Belgian star Kim Clijsters are her role models – but it remains to be seen whether she will be able to repeat her idol Halep’s feat after the Romanian beat Williams in the Wimbledon final in July.

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