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Serena Williams, of the United States, reacts after scoring a point against Elina Svitolina, of Ukraine, during the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis championships Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Serena Williams, of the United States, reacts after scoring a point against Elina Svitolina, of Ukraine, during the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis championships Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)|Associated Press
Tennis

U.S. Open women's final: Abrams picks Serena Williams vs Bianca Andreescu

The match starts Saturday at 4 pm EDT.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

2019 U.S.Open

Flushing Meadows, NY

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Women's Singles

Bianca Andreescu over Serena Williams

I picked Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu to win this tournament two weekends ago in my Preview, and I'm not stopping now. Frankly, I don't think that she's played as well as she did back in March, before she got injured, but she's played well enough to win, and that's all that counts. Her game is a combination of strong groundies mixed with the occasional slice, chip, and block, which serves to change the pace on her opponents. She mixes in good serves, but she really needs to get her first serve in, especially against Serena, because Serena feasts on second serves, and Andreescu's is really still a work in progress. Let's not forget that she's only 19-years-old, and when she entered this tournament last year she had to play the qualies. At this point in time, I think Andreescu's biggest asset is her ability to compete, as her game is good, but not totally developed. When her game develops, watch out WTA!

Serena is Serena, but not exactly. She's still the same woman with the bad temper, the awful tennis clothes, and the chunky body. But she's aging right in front of our eyes. Gone is the athlete who can roam the baseline and hit winning groundstrokes at will. Gone is the woman who can strike terror into the psyche of her opponents merely by fixing that mean stare of hers into their eyes. Gone is the finely tuned athlete who takes no prisoners. What's left is an aging athlete who is fat, slow, often injured, who misses groundies almost at will, but who still possesses the single biggest weapon the women's game has ever seen: her serve.

I expect a lot of choppy play as the players feel each other out, and I doubt that either one of them can remain consistent off the ground, as they will be probing and trying to play offense. Ultimately, I think Andreescu will win because she's young, hungry, equally as competitive, and just a tad more consistent.

Serena will have to go somewhere else to look for her 24th.

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