Tennis twins Mike and Bob Bryan – the most successful doubles pair of all time – are to bring their careers to an end following the 2020 US Open.

The identical twin brothers from California have won 118 career doubles titles as a team, including 16 grand slams as well as an Olympic gold medal.

However, their last slam success came at the 2014 US Open, with the duo having won 18 trophies since then.

They will turn 42 in April and – having slipped down the doubles rankings to 27th – have decided to call time on their playing careers at Flushing Meadows, where they have won five titles, next year. 

"We took the last few months off to try and get our minds right and get our bodies and minds fresh and make this decision," Mike Bryan told USOpen.org.

"We feel it's the right time. It's just a perfect time to go. We feel like we can still be competitive and win, but at 42, we're really appreciative of getting so much longevity out of our careers.

"We feel like you can't play forever, so we just wanted to make the decision and go into next year knowing that we can see the finish line and play as hard as we can, but also appreciate being on tour, playing together and giving back to the fans a little bit."

The brothers – who have spent 438 weeks at the top of the world rankings – were the dominant force in doubles tennis from the early 2000s up until 2015, with their grasp having loosened in recent years.

Naomi Osaka has split from coach Jermaine Jenkins following her unsuccessful US Open defence.

Jenkins and Osaka teamed up in February after the Japanese parted ways with Sascha Bajin in the wake of her Australian Open success.

The two-time major champion has not won another title since her triumph at Melbourne Park and a fourth-round loss to Belinda Bencic at the US Open represented her next best performance at a grand slam this year.

"I'm super grateful for the time we spent together and the things I learned on and off court but I feel like now is a[n] appropriate time for a change," Osaka wrote on Twitter.

"[I] appreciate you, forever warmed by you … thank you for everything, it was a blast."

The 21-year-old Osaka will return to action at the Pan Pacific Open in Osaka next week.

On September 11 1999, a rising star of tennis clinched her first grand slam title and, 20 years later, Serena Williams is still going strong.

Williams, aged 17, beat Martina Hingis 6-3 7-6 (7-4) in the US Open final at Flushing Meadows to make a major breakthrough.

Two decades and 23 grand slam titles have passed since then, yet Williams - one triumph shy of equalling Margaret Court's overall major record hall - is still at the pinnacle of the sport.

The American reached her second slam final of 2019 at Flushing Meadows last week, though it ended in defeat to new kid on the block Bianca Andreescu, who also beat Williams in the Rogers Cup final in August – albeit with her opponent retiring at 3-1 down.

It means Williams has lost her last four appearances in grand slam finals since winning the Australian Open in January 2017, but her ever enduring talent means a record-equalling success should never be discounted.

Here are some of the astonishing numbers of Williams' career to date.

72 - Williams has won 72 WTA singles titles so far. Her first was in Paris in 1999, with her most recent coming in Melbourne in 2017.

33 - The 37-year-old has reached an incredible 33 grand slam singles finals, losing just 10 of those.

5 - Williams has finished the year ranked as world number one five times, in 2002, 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

39 - Including 14 in doubles and two in mixed doubles, Williams has won 39 major titles - that is a joint-third total since the Open Era began.

1 - Williams is the only player, male or female, to have completed a Golden Slam in both singles and doubles competitions. As well as triumphing at every slam and the Olympics as a singles competitor, Serena has achieved the same feat alongside sister Venus in doubles.

7 - Williams has seven titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, with six more at the US Open, and three at Roland Garros.

319 - Having spent 319 weeks as world number one, Williams is third behind Martina Navratilova (332) and Steffi Graf (377).

2 - She has held all four grand slam trophies on two occasions - in 2002-03 and 2014-15.

97 - In total, Williams has appeared in 97 singles finals on the WTA circuit.

186 - Williams spent 186 weeks as world number one between February 2013 and September 2016, equal with Graf's record from August 1987 to March 1991.

Martina Navratilova believes Serena Williams will have to find her brilliant best to win another grand slam after yet more disappointment in a major final at the US Open.

The painful 6-3 7-5 defeat to Canadian Bianca Andreescu in Saturday's title match at Flushing Meadows means Williams, unquestionably the player of her generation, remains one slam title behind Margaret Court at the top of the all-time list.

Williams has lost major four finals in the last 14 months and her last grand slam singles triumph came at the 2017 Australian Open.

It will be to Melbourne she returns for the next drive to land that 24th slam, and the American, though still a major force, will have turned 38 by the time she arrives in Australia in January.

Navratilova was 37 when she played her last grand slam singles final, losing to Conchita Martinez at Wimbledon in 1994, and she retired later that year, returning for a brief singles dalliance in 2000 and a more sustained involvement in doubles well into her forties.

She said the pressure that Williams faced in New York was of the kind that "only happens to legends and is impossible to quantify".

"I still think Serena can get to 24 majors," Navratilova told the WTA website.

"Especially as the court surface at the Australian Open suits her better as it's faster than the US Open.

"But, after losing four in a row, every major final is now going to be harder for Serena. For one thing, there are going to be more players who think they can beat her.

"And also the scar tissue and the pressure will only grow. Just 'Average Serena' is not going to cut it in Melbourne in January; she will have to bring her best."

Navratilova was hugely impressed by 19-year-old Andreescu who had the courage to hit Williams off court, only showing the slightest sign of nerves when her opponent launched a second-set fightback from the brink of defeat.

The bravado of the first-time champion struck a chord with Navratilova, who said: "It was as if Andreescu knew that there was nothing she could do about the crowd being so vocal in their support for Serena.

"She didn’t take it personally, though it must have been hard, really hard."

And with Andreescu among a host of young players who look set to give the women's game a bright future, Navratilova sees the landscape changing - albeit with one fact still incontrovertible.

"If Serena plays her best tennis, she's still better than everybody else out there," said the nine-time Wimbledon singles champion. "Unfortunately for Serena, she didn't do that in New York."

Serena Williams lost the US Open final to Bianca Andreescu on Saturday, her fourth final in the last two years without a win. A win would make Williams the most winningest woman in the Open era of Grand Slams, surpassing Margaret Court's 23 titles. But her latest loss brings into question whether or not she still has what it takes to win a major. The Zone Blitz team answers the question.

Bianca Andreescu insists she is "not done yet" after spending years visualising the moment she would win the US Open, even writing herself fake winners' cheques.

The 19-year-old became Canada's first singles grand slam champion when she upset home favourite and Flushing Meadows great Serena Williams in Saturday's final, winning in straight sets to continue a remarkable ascent.

Andreescu won at Indian Wells and in the Rogers Cup, too, and reached a career-high number five in the WTA rankings on Monday following her New York success.

A long career at the top appears inevitable, with Andreescu still unbeaten against top-10 opponents, and she acknowledges there is now a desire to build on the US Open victory.

"I never thought it would be this hectic, but I'm not complaining," she told Good Morning America. "This is truly an amazing accomplishment but I could definitely get used to this feeling. I'm not done yet."

Williams had been bidding to equal Margaret Court's record of 24 major titles, but Andreescu's aim to triumph at Flushing Meadows was similarly long-standing.

She revealed one of her techniques had been to spend years picturing herself triumphing, determined to turn her wishes into reality.

"I've been visualising ever since I was 12 or 13 when my amazing mother introduced me to it," she said. "I find it very helpful.

"I think it's one of the most powerful tools we have, our minds. I believe that we create our reality with our minds. Ever since then, I've been picturing myself holding that trophy.

"I actually wrote myself a cheque for this tournament - back in 2015, it wasn't that much money [$3.85million in prize money] but, every year, I kept increasing it. For it to actually become a reality is just crazy."

Andreescu insists she was not interested in earning huge amounts for herself, though, instead determined to secure enough in prize money to allow her parents to travel with her on the WTA Tour.

"It definitely wasn't an easy road. I sacrificed a lot, my parents sacrificed a lot," she added.

"Just being with them to celebrate that moment was very special to me. I know they can't always travel. But I guess now they can."

As first Novak Djokovic and then Roger Federer exited the US Open, leaving the draw wide open for Rafael Nadal, there was legitimate cause for concern the men's singles final would be what it was for the previous two years: a forgettable, one-sided encounter far from befitting of the occasion.

Nadal and Djokovic ran roughshod over Kevin Anderson and Juan Martin del Potro in 2017 and 2018 respectively, with neither able to provide enough of a test to produce a spectacle worthy of being retained in the memory for too long.

To watch Nadal, Djokovic and Federer overwhelm an opponent is a sight to behold. The sporting soliloquies they frequently deliver against those outside their ceaselessly dominant trident are regularly compelling simply for the mastery they display when brushing aside inferior foes.

However, grand slam finals are not the stage for such one-man shows. In this arena more than any other, two protagonists are needed for the headline act to live up to the billing.

On Sunday, Nadal was lucky enough to share the Arthur Ashe court with the tournament's chief protagonist, and he and Daniil Medvedev combined to produce a four-hour-and-49-minute drama that nobody who was lucky enough to have a seat in the stadium will forget in a hurry.

It seemed extremely unlikely that Medvedev - the man who became the leading storyline of an often drab men's tournament after aiming a middle-finger gesture towards the crowd in a third-round clash with Feliciano Lopez - would be able to provide the thrilling final-day flourish those packed inside the world's largest tennis stadium witnessed when Nadal took control of his 27th major final.

Medvedev himself conceded he was thinking about giving a speech after Nadal broke in the third set to take a 3-2 lead. However, he has consistently proven capable of finding inspiration from unexpected sources and at unexpected times.

He masterfully used the jeers of spectators to his advantage against Lopez and in the fourth round with Dominik Koepfer, goading the fans after matches while focusing on transforming their negative energy into a positive.

In his quarter-final with Stan Wawrinka he superbly switched his tactics to exhaust the Swiss by getting him on the run with drop shots and lobs, finding a way to survive and advance having been in a dire situation as a thigh injury left him believing retirement or defeat was inevitable.

Medvedev felt the latter was a formality as Nadal moved through the gears in the final, but once again he discovered life when it looked least likely to arrive.

"I was like, 'Okay, okay, just fight for every point, don't think about these things.' It worked out not bad," said the Russian.

It worked out significantly better than not bad. Medvedev's desire, excellent movement on the baseline and ability to put so many balls back in play led to uncharacteristic errors from Nadal that saw him surrender the initiative, setting in motion a recovery nobody foresaw but one suddenly everybody except those in the Nadal camp desperately wanted.

A dramatic twist worthy of Broadway turned everything on its head, including the crowd, who shockingly swayed to the man they once loathed as they chanted Medvedev's name, making clear their desire to see the match extended into a fourth set.

Medvedev obliged and, with renewed belief, ploughed on in search of one of the greatest comebacks in grand slam history, which looked a very real possibility when he met a 107mph Nadal serve out wide with a perfectly placed two-handed backhand winner to force a decider.

His extraordinary revival made for an astonishing spectacle as it led to a gripping, undulating conclusion in which crowd support swung one way and then the other as both players somehow summoned the energy to deliver the finale this captivating contest deserved.

Medvedev had three break points in the second game of the fifth but could take none of them, Nadal finding depth and accuracy off both wings, and it was the Spaniard who just about proved to have more in the tank, surging into – and then almost losing – a 5-2 lead.

Nadal withstood a final show of Medvedev character and a break point that would have levelled the match once more and immediately fell flat on his back when an overhit forehand return secured a 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4 success and his fourth US Open title, with the now 19-time major champion quick to acknowledge the 23-year-old's part in making this one of his most emotional triumphs.

"Daniil created this moment, too. The way that he fought, the way that he played, it's a champion way. I really believe that he will have many more chances," said Nadal at his media conference.

"These kind of matches in the final of grand slams makes the match more special. The way that the match became very dramatic at the end, that makes this day unforgettable."

Medvedev will take little solace in his incredible role in a losing cause. The story of the 2019 US Open men's singles will always end with Nadal tearfully clutching the trophy, but it is a tale that will not be able to be told without recalling how Medvedev made it one worth listening to, and how he ultimately saved the final slam of the year from being another anti-climax.

Remember when Rafael Nadal was "finished"?

Without a grand slam title in nearly three years, a wrist injury plaguing his career and ongoing questions over his knee?

That was three years ago and feels more like a lifetime.

Since the start of 2017, Nadal has won five grand slams, the most recent of which was the US Open after an epic five-set victory over Daniil Medvedev in the final in New York on Sunday.

The Spanish great is up to 19 grand slam titles, just one shy of all-time men's record holder Roger Federer, while he pushed three clear of Novak Djokovic.

There was, perhaps rightly, a theory that Federer would have the best longevity of the 'Big Three', his style less reliant on the physicality of Nadal and Djokovic, whose relentlessness and gruelling approach from the baseline led to those suggestions.

But that has thus far proven to be wrong, and it is remarkably Nadal – with a remodelled serve helping his hard-court game this year – who has seriously starred since turning 30.

Federer turned 30 in August 2011, Nadal in June 2016 and Djokovic in May 2017.

In their 30s, Nadal has won five majors compared to four apiece for Federer and Djokovic, a tally few would have predicted and one that seems set to grow.

A battered body looked set to get the better of Nadal, but instead the majors in 2019 have belonged to him.

He finished with two grand slam titles and a 24-2 win-loss record – his best since going an extraordinary 25-1 in 2010.

At 33, there are some signs Nadal may be slowing down, and he unsurprisingly looked tired at times in the incredible clash with Medvedev that lasted almost five hours.

But he is showing he could be the king in the 30s of the 'Big Three', and he sure as anything is not finished yet.

At the end of his third-round match with Feliciano Lopez, Daniil Medvedev's relationship with the US Open fans seemed fractured beyond repair.

Hearing the boos that provided the soundtrack to his post-match on-court interview at Louis Armstrong Stadium after he had directed a middle-finger gesture at the fans following a disagreement with the umpire, it was impossible to believe Medvedev would be talking about leaving his heart out there for the New York crowd.

Yet that is what the Russian felt he had to do as he battled back from two sets down in a captivating five-set defeat to Rafael Nadal in the US Open final.

Medvedev seemed dead and buried in the match when he trailed 3-2 in the third having gone a break down.

The 23-year-old looked a spent force, but immediately responded and fought back magnificently. His name rang round Arthur Ashe Stadium as he recovered to win the third set, and a frenetic thrill ride of a final then swung dramatically in his direction as a punishing return gave him the decisive break in the fourth.

Nadal returned to being the crowd favourite as an enthralling match moved towards a nail-biting conclusion, with Medvedev unable to take advantage of break points at 1-1 and as the Spaniard served out the match.

Though he ultimately fell short in attempting to erase a 5-2 deficit in the decider, Medvedev's incredible effort and fighting spirit saw him definitively win back the affections of the Flushing Meadows public.

Speaking after his 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4 loss, Medvedev was asked if he could have imagined having his name chanted by the crowd last week.

He replied: "I was being myself. I was fighting for every point. I think they appreciated it. Being break down in the third, I won the game, and I felt that these guys wanted some more tennis. They were cheering me up like crazy.

"I knew I had to leave my heart out there for them also. For myself first of all, but for them also. I think they saw it and they appreciate it. I'm thankful to them for this.

"The only thing going through my mind at this moment was I have to win next point, I have to win next game. I was not thinking too much, 'Okay, I'm from Russia, I'm in USA, they are cheering my name, what should I do?' No.

"It was a pleasure to be out there tonight. They were sometimes cheering my name, sometimes they were going for Rafa. I think it was just because the arena is so huge, there were so many people cheering both names, it was like changing all the time. I don't think it will be same people cheering two different names from one point to another.

"The atmosphere was the best of my life, I have to say."

Medvedev demonstrated incredible levels of endurance during his four hours, 49 minutes on court.

Asked if he could see himself competing at the same level at 33 years old, as Nadal continues to do, Medvedev said: "I do see myself at 33 years running and competing like Rafael Nadal.

"Although Rafa said it himself, that he changed his game a lot from younger age to be able to compete at the highest level. Maybe I'll have to do the same. This I cannot know."

Daniil Medvedev described Rafael Nadal's 19th grand slam title as "unbelievable" and "outrageous" as he lauded the US Open champion.

Nadal moved within slam trophy of Roger Federer's record men's haul after outlasting Medvedev 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4 in New York on Sunday.

Contesting his maiden major final, Medvedev was staring at a straight-sets defeat before the fifth seed produced a stunning rally at Flushing Meadows.

But Nadal withstood Medvedev's comeback to prevail after almost five hours on court inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, where fans were brought to their feet in appreciation.

Nadal was reduced to tears after closing in on Federer's grand slam tally and Medvedev heaped praise on the 33-year-old Spaniard afterwards.

"I just want to congratulate Rafa – 19th grand slam title is something unbelievable, outrageous," Medvedev said during the trophy presentation.

"I want to congratulate him and his team, you guys are doing an amazing job, the way you are playing is a big joke, it's very tough to play against you and you know when I was looking on the screen and they were showing number one, number two, number 19, I was like, 'if I would win, what would they show?'

"Again, what you've done for tennis in general I mean, I think 100 million kids watching you play want to play tennis and it's amazing for our sport, thank you and congrats again."

Medvedev – the villain throughout the season's final slam in the Big Apple – emerged from the jaws of defeat to almost pull off one of the greatest comebacks.

After clawing his way from a break down in the third set to prolong the final, Medvedev then saved two match points in the ninth game of the decider before Nadal eventually slumped to the floor in celebration.

Asked how he turned it around, Medvedev replied: "To be honest in my mind I was already [thinking], 'OK, what do I say in the speech? It's going to be soon, in 20 minutes, losing in three sets in the first final, trying to give a fight but not really, so I was like OK, anyway, I have to fight for every ball and I have to see how it goes' and it went far, but unfortunately didn't go my way.

"I want to talk about you guys [the crowd]. I know earlier in the tournament I said something kind of in a bad way and now I'm saying it in a good way, it's because of your energy guys that I was here in the final. Tonight is going to be always in my mind because I played in the biggest court in the tennis world and in the third set where I was already thinking which speech should I give, you guys were pushing me to prolong this match because you want to see more tennis and because of you guys I was fighting like hell.

"As I said, it's electric. You were booing me for a reason, I never said that it was not, but you guys see that I can also change because I'm a human being, I can make mistakes, and again thank you very much from the bottom of my heart."

An emotional Rafael Nadal labelled his epic US Open final win over Daniil Medvedev a "crazy match" after clinching his 19th grand slam title.

Nadal edged Medvedev 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4 in an extraordinary decider that lasted four hours, 49 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday, moving within one of Roger Federer's tally of 20 major titles.

The Spanish great gave up a two-sets-to-love lead and then saw Medvedev rally from 5-2 down before he closed out his fourth US Open title.

Nadal said it was an incredible encounter and he paid tribute to Medvedev, who has the most wins on the ATP Tour this year.

"This victory means a lot, especially the way the match became so difficult, so tough," he said in an on-court interview.

"I was able to hold at the end the nerves because the nerves were so high after having the match almost under control, 5-2, 5-4, break point. It has been a crazy match. I'm just emotional."

Nadal added: "It was an amazing final. It seemed that I had more or less the match under control, but honestly first word I have to say is to Daniil.

"His summer is just one of the best summers I ever saw in this sport since I was playing so, everybody saw why he is the number four player in the world already, only at 23 years old, so many congratulations for everything."

A video was played in Arthur Ashe after the final, with each of Nadal's grand slam titles featured in an emotional tribute.

The 33-year-old, who received multiple time violations during the final, had special thanks for the crowd in New York.

"It has been one of the most emotional nights in my tennis career," Nadal said.

"With that video, with all the support, all of you guys have been just amazing. Normally, I take it for the last thing but today it's going to be the first thing, thank you very, very much everybody in this stadium, [you] have been amazing energy.

"It's a real pleasure and honour to play in front of all of you in this amazing stadium. I think there is not one stadium that is more energetic than this one so many, many thanks for everything."

Rafael Nadal moved within one of Roger Federer's grand slam tally, edging Daniil Medvedev in an epic US Open final to claim his 19th major title on Sunday.

Nadal was pushed to the limit by first-time grand slam finalist Medvedev in a thrilling decider, eventually prevailing 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4 after four hours, 49 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The Spanish great secured his second major of 2019 and moved within one of Federer, who holds the all-time men's record for most grand slam titles with 20.

Medvedev, who has the most wins on the ATP Tour this year and has played the role of villain in New York, looked set to cause a momentous upset, only for Nadal to edge through the fifth set.

The 23-year-old Russian won just three games against Nadal in the Rogers Cup final a month ago, yet almost became the second player in history to beat the left-hander after losing the first two sets to the 33-year-old at a grand slam.

The win meant the 'Big Three' of Nadal, Federer and Novak Djokovic swept the grand slams for the third straight year, a feat they last achieved between 2006 and 2008.

In what was a high-quality start, there was early drama as Nadal produced an around-the-net winner and was given a time violation in the opening game.

The duo then traded breaks, Nadal mishitting a forehand into the bottom of the net to give Medvedev a 2-1 lead, only for the Russian to send a backhand well long to fail to consolidate.

Nadal's pressure – Medvedev fended off three break points in the eighth game and was again tested in the 10th – paid off at the perfect time, landing the break and opening set when his opponent put a backhand volley into the net.

Medvedev recovered from 0-40 to hold for 2-2 in the second set, but there was no denying Nadal in the sixth game, a deep return leading to an error and a break as the second seed took complete control.

Nadal gave up a break lead midway through the third set and Medvedev fought hard – the villain threatening to turn hero as he earned chants from the Arthur Ashe crowd – before spectacularly taking the set with a backhand winner down the line.

Suddenly, it was Medvedev – calm and composed – looking the better of the two players as Nadal seemed to be tiring, a tough hold in the second game of the fourth set coming as the Spaniard tried to fire himself up.

Nadal looked the more likely to break until Medvedev did just that, ripping an incredible backhand return winner down the line to force a fifth set.

Medvedev needed treatment on his thigh before the deciding set, Nadal saving three break points in the second game, including one after a second time violation saw him denied a first serve.

Nadal landed the first break of the final set, ending an incredible point with a backhand cross-court winner to take a 3-2 lead.

Nadal won four straight games before handing a break back following another time violation, this one leading to a double fault, and Medvedev bravely saved two match points in the ninth game.

The topsy-turvy encounter continued as Nadal saved a break point with a big forehand, his fourth US Open title secured when Medvedev sent a return long.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Rafael Nadal [2] bt Daniil Medvedev [5] 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal – 62/46
Medvedev – 75/57

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal – 5/5
Medvedev – 14/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal – 6/21
Medvedev – 5/15

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Nadal – 58
Medvedev – 64

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Nadal – 77/52
Medvedev – 65/54

TOTAL POINTS
Nadal – 177
Medvedev – 164

Flushing Meadows is all but empty, the fans that bayed for Bianca Andreescu's demise in the second set have long departed and, in the players' lounge in Arthur Ashe Stadium, the US Open champion is at ease and very much excited.

Andreescu is excited not because she's still revelling in winning her first grand slam title, though that is unquestionably also the case. Instead the 19-year-old is abuzz because she is sat around a table with a group of reporters and has just been asked if she has recommendations for self-help books.

"Where's my phone?!" she enthusiastically shouts. "I have all the books I've read on my phone."

After that extremely modern statement, Andreescu is handed her phone and frantically scrolls through her reading list in search of a book she cannot remember the name of.

"Code of the Extraordinary Mind!" Andreescu exclaims after locating the title of the 2016 work by Vishen Lakhiani.

Lakhiani and various other self-help authors may expect a significant bump in their sales following Andreescu's victory in New York.

There can be fewer greater endorsements than surviving a second-set comeback from Serena Williams in a major final in front of a crowd providing ear-splitting support for the 23-time grand slam champion, who powered back from 5-1 down in the second to level things up at 5-5.

"I couldn't hear myself think at that point," said Andreescu. "I was just in awe of how loud the US Open crowd can get, it was crazy but I was glad I witnessed that because that's what makes this tournament so special.

"At that point you can only try to focus on the things you can control, and that was my attitude towards it and I just kept my composure, which is why I think I dealt with that scenario really well."

The teenager dealt with it impeccably, holding serve to check Williams' momentum before finding huge success with the forehand in the most important game of the match to break the American and become Canada's first grand slam singles champion.

Following such an incredible show of character, motivational speakers and self-help authors all over the globe may be using Andreescu's example to inspire others, with her journey from oft-injured player who failed to qualify for the 2018 US Open to grand slam champion a testament to the power of belief and perseverance.

"In my short career I've been through a lot injury-wise, those moments weren't easy for me because I just kept getting injured," Andreescu explained. "At one point I didn't have much faith in myself but I have an amazing team around me, including my parents. I think my parents are my biggest inspiration and biggest motivation because they've believed in me since day one.

"Without them I wouldn't have gotten through those periods like I did, so I'm truly thankful for that, and also it's part of life going through tough situations like that. It's not always going to be butterflies and rainbows, I just tried to embrace it as much I could.

"I tried to learn different things about myself and just about how I can get better as a player and as a person. I really believed there were gonna be good times ahead because I think when you believe in that, all those tough times are worth it."

Now she has a spectacular reward for getting through those tough times, and Andreescu knows she has nothing to fear having avoided the devastation of defeat after spurning two chances to serve it out against Williams.

Asked if she had come through the most difficult test she will ever face on a tennis court, Andreescu replied: "I think so. Being in the final against Serena Williams and then actually winning it is crazy.

"I've looked up to her and now actually winning the tournament, I've always thought I could but it actually happening is just so crazy.

"I don't think I've lost a match since March so my confidence is just skyrocketing right now, I just don't want to take anything for granted because there's gonna be weeks where you're going to lose, so right now I'm on cloud nine and hopefully I can just keep the momentum going.

"When I play my game nobody really likes that because I play a lot different than other players on tour, I like to change up the rhythm and I've always been like that, so I just kept improving it, that's what I've been doing this whole year and I think that's why I've been doing really well.

"I've always had a lot of tools in my toolbox, but the goal for me now is to choose the right shots to hit at the right times."

That is a scary sentence for the rest of the WTA Tour to read. Self-help books, her parents and her own focus and belief helped Andreescu hone the tool that was most important on Saturday, her fortitude. Once she fine-tunes the rest of her significant arsenal, Andreescu's rivals will need all the help they can get to stop her becoming the dominant force in the women's game.

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