Serena Williams

By Ron Wynn

Serena Williams’ bid for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title fell short Saturday, as she was defeated by 19-year-old Canadian Bianca Andreescu 6-3, 7-5 in the U.S.Open`s Women’s Finals. It was the first Grand Slam title for Andreescu, who just last year wasnt even ranked in the top 200. It is also the first Grand Slam title for a Canadian player.

Williams, approaching her 38th birthday,  had played six largely outstanding matches. But she had 33 unforced errors alongside 33 winners, and three critical double faults on break points. Andreescu had only 17 unforced errors and 18 winners, while converting five of 12 break points.

“I love Bianca,” Willams told ESPN. “I think she’s a great girl. But I think this was the worse match I’ve played all tournament. It’s hard to know that you could do better. It’s just taking it… I don’t even know what to say. I think her returns make me play better and puts pressure on my serve. At the same time its inexcusable for me to play at this level.”

Despite the disappointment, Williams had an overall fine tournament. But it made her 0-4 in Grand Slam finals since her return after becoming a mother, and underscored just how tough the road to a championship is competing against  a group of much younger players who both idolize her and have emulated her power and speed game.