Bianca vs. Serena: The stakes are high for both women at the U.S. Open
It seems like everyone in Canada is suddenly a tennis fan
Remember those jitters you felt before the first day of school earlier this week?
OK, now multiply that by, like, a thousand.
That will give you an idea of how Bianca Andreescu is probably feeling right now, as she prepares for the biggest tennis match of her life.
On Saturday, the 19-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., will represent Canada at the U.S. Open tennis finals in New York — one of the biggest tennis tournaments of the year.
What’s so remarkable about this young woman is that a year ago, most Canadians had never heard of her, something the rising tennis star admits is wild.
"If someone had told me a year ago I’d be in the U.S. Open final, I’d say you’re crazy," she said after winning in the semifinals on Thursday night.
Andreescu reacts after winning her semifinals match in the U.S. Open on Thursday night in New York. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)
Last year, Andreescu didn’t even qualify to play in the annual tournament.
On the opposite side of the court will be a veteran of the tennis and sports stage.
Serena Williams has been a household name for years.
Her record is stellar. It's the 10th time she’ll play in the U.S. Open final, not to mention that if she wins, it would be her 24th major win.
Williams returns a shot during the semifinals match in New York on Thursday. (Elsa/Getty Images)
Williams' tone is slightly different than her opponent’s.
At a press conference after her semifinal win, she was asked about making it to the finals.
“I don’t really expect too much less,” said the 37-year-old.
Williams has her own clothing line and a duchess cheering her on.
That’s right, Meghan Markle is a fan of Williams, and is rumoured to have jumped on a plane to New York to catch the finals match this weekend. (CBC Kids News has not confirmed this.)
Meghan Markle sits in the Royal Box on Centre Court to watch Serena Williams during the Wimbledon finals in London earlier this summer. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)
Is this déjà vu?
It won’t be the first time the two women play each other in a tournament final.
Last month, Andreescu beat Williams in the Rogers Cup in Toronto after the veteran pulled out due to an injury after only 16 minutes.
Andreescu consoles Williams in the 2019 Rogers Cup final on Aug. 11. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)
When Williams announced she was pulling out, Andreescu rushed to her side to console her.
The sincere move prompted Williams to describe her opponent an “old soul.”
Both women want to win
Don’t expect too much friendliness on the court on Saturday.
There’s a lot at stake here.
If Andreescu beats Williams, she will be the first Canadian to win the U.S. Open.
She already made history by being the first Canadian to reach the finals.
Canadians all over are jumping on the tennis bandwagon and cheering her on.
#Shethenorth has been trending on Twitter.
On the other hand, Williams has her own motivation to win.
If she defeats Andreescu, she will tie a record and become the second woman to win 24 Grand Slam titles.
There’s more to it than just bragging rights
The victor will also be a lot richer.
The prize money for the winner of the U.S. Open is more than $5 million Cdn.
The runner-up’s winnings aren’t too shabby, either: $2.5 million.
Regardless of who you’re cheering for, the match is likely to be a nail-biter.