"I'm speechless right now...This has been a dream come true. I had many, many tough matches," Bianca Andreescu said half smiling and happy but surprised. She was just getting her rhythm together in playing Serena Williams.
But she had just led 2 to 1. The Canadian teen raised her level and went up 3 to 1. Both had sat for the break. The trainer came over to Serena who had started crying and put her hands over her eyes shaking her head. Bianca came over and gave Serena a big hug and her blessings on getting better.
Andreescu was totally shocked when she'd found out Serena was suffering from an upper back ailment and was giving the title up to her. The match was over just as it started to pick up with intensity and excitement.
The packed crowd was stunned and so was Andreescu. Podiums had to be dragged out and set up. Tournament directors and sponsor personnel had to be alerted to come out. It was nearly quiet bedlam. Serena sat for a while crying and sniffling.
As things progressed, short speeches were made. Serena tried to compose herself and murmured that "Sorry I can't do it today. I tried...I tried." It wasn't until the press conference did most know the total condition of Serena's back ailment as she said "It started yesterday in my match...my whole back just completely spasmed to a point where I couldn't sleep and I couldn't really move...I'm taking it a day at a time..."
Bianca Andreescu handled the situation with poise and maturity much more than her 19 years saying "This wasn't the way I expected to win." She had expected a decent slugfest but barely had gotten her sun visor dampened with perspiration.
Andreescu had gotten her oversized check and trophy. She thanked everyone for their support, her team, parents and friends. She felt relieved and said, "I'm truly, truly blessed." Most likely for not having to go through a possible 3-setter taking chances of her shoulder ailment flaring up.
She was blessed that her skill at 'dropping the junk' at the right time and place on the court worked for her. She felt her game was starting to come together and felt accomplished that the tournament was over saying to her fans.
team and family that "This is just the beginning." As for Serena Williams, her biggest situation now is her health. How long will her back hold up during tournaments? Will she be able to get treatment and things will be alright again or will that be the weakest part of her game? Perhaps she came into the final with many tangibles that couldn't be changed.
This was the first time she'd ever played in the daytime, the warmest part of the day. She had to cope with playing every day without a break. This might have helped to do her in. It was also the first time she'd played Bianca Andreescu.
Serena has nearly 20 years on her and now the back ailment. There are so many things she'll have to think about and the Western and Southern Open at Cincinnati is here. Will she be able to play or have to withdraw and get treatment and rest until the U.S.
Open? So many decisions to make in such a short time for Serena Williams and Bianca Andreescu. But getting healthy is necessary for one while the other's concern is staying healthy and skilful to play her game her way getting more titles, wins and having fun at future tournaments again.