Mississauga’s Bianca Andreescu became the first Canadian ever to advance to a U.S. Open singles final with a thrilling straight-set victory over Belinda Bencic on Thursday night in New York, N.Y.

The 19-year-old, who is the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam final since Milos Raonic did it three years ago at Wimbledon, will face eighth-seeded Serena Williams on Saturday afternoon after a 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 semi-final win over her Swiss opponent.

After rallying to take the first set, Andreescu found herself trailing once again in the second set. Down 5-2, the Canadian teen won the last five games of the match to advance to the final in her first appearance in the U.S. Open main draw.

“I think it’s just all the hard work that I’ve been putting (in) throughout the years,” Andreescu said on the court after her win. “If someone told me a year ago that I’d be in the finals of the U.S. Open this year, I’d tell them they’re crazy.”

Williams, who is going for her seventh U.S. Open title and her first Grand Slam win since giving birth in September of 2017, defeated Ukrainian Elina Svitolina in straight sets (6-3, 6-1) in the other semi.

The final will be a rematch of last month’s Rogers Cup in Toronto when Williams had to pull out of the championship match early in the first set after experiencing back issues.

“It’s just surreal,” she said of facing Williams in the final. “I really don’t know what to say. It’s a dream come true playing against Serena in the finals of the U.S. Open… it’s crazy.”

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