Saturday, August 10, 2019 – Serena Williams plays Marie Bouzkova in semi-finals of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank at the Aviva Centre in Toronto, Ontario. (Jared Wickerham/Tennis Canada)
They are the kind of conversations we have with friends, co-workers, fellow tennis fans all year long, but rarely – if ever – do they come true. “What if Serena and Bianca actually played in the final this year?” someone mused in the Tennis Canada office this spring.
There were laughs.
But sometimes fairy tales really do come true. This afternoon it’s the all-time great in women’s tennis, Serena Williams, taking on a true upstart in 2019, Canada’s own – Toronto’s own! – Bianca Andreescu, who has a season of dreams over the last seven months and looks to beat a childhood hero on Centre Court today.
What ifs are fun. Especially when they become reality.
It’s no doubt been a week to remember for Andreescu, who hadn’t played a tennis match since late May as she struggled with a shoulder injury that hampered her season after her breakout title at Indian Wells.
But it’s also been one to remember for Serena, who continues to chase major No.24 – which would equal the all-time record – and also her first title of any kind since giving birth to her daughter in September of 2017. She is the stuff of legends, and her comeback has been legendary.
Serena goes for title No.73 while Bianca tries to get her second.
It’d be the first Canadian win in the women’s event since Faye Urban in 1969, some 50 years ago when it was an all-Canadian final, Urban vs. Vicki Berner. Since then, this event has become part of the WTA, tennis has become Open and Rogers Cup is one of the biggest tournaments in the world.
Serena first reached the final here in 2001, when Bianca was 14 months old.
“I think the crowd will obviously be for her – I would be too,” Williams, 37, told reporters. “But I don’t think it’s about that. It’s about going out and playing great tennis. I’ve faced plenty of tough crowds in my career.”
It will be a first-time meeting between these two, however, and Andreescu, still just 19, knows that she is sharing the court with greatness. She says life is “fricking amazing” being in the final here – especially against Serena.
“When I go out there, I am going to try to be fearless,” she said. “That would be the case even against (Serena).”
So here we are, Bianca vs. Serena, Serena vs. Canada, the legend vs. the apprentice. It’s a moment worth soaking in. Now we just dream about a three-set instant classic.
Doubles: Top teams face off in final
In the doubles event, it’s two of the best teams in the world as No.1 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova take on the No.3 team in Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Demi Schuurs. Schuurs is defending champ here, though she won a year ago alongside Ashleigh Barty.
The doubles final is set to take place after the singles today.