Open began, Patrick Mouratoglou predicted Bianca Andreescu would be in the final. He was right. Serena Williams's coach also is confident the rising Canadian tennis star will be No.
He may well be right about that, too. But on Saturday, when Williams meets Andreescu in the women's singles final, he considers the time Grand Slam champion he's been guiding since to be the favourite.
I expected her in the final, and I think she's going to be No. A lot of respect for her," Mouratoglou said some 24 hours before the year-old Williams and the year-old Andreescu square off in the final.
She has the whole package.
The game's amazing, I think: the athleticism, and the mental. She looks incredibly confident. She feels like she's where she belongs.
That's the impression she gives. Serve well, Return well.
Play well from the baseline and keep the ball deep, and move Serena around," Bruneau said. Play a complete match. There are 18 years and days between Williams and Andreescu.
It's the largest age gap between Grand Slam finalists in the sport's Open era, which began 50 years ago. Williams won her first U. Open as a year-old in , almost exactly nine months before Andreescu was born.
Her career won-loss record at Flushing Meadows is Andreescu's career record, on the other hand, is She's making her first main-draw appearance at the final Grand Slam of the season. Notably, though, the Canadian is against top players in Williams is currently ranked No.
If she wins, Williams would move up to No. If Andreescu wins, she would be No.
If the Canadian is beaten, she still will make her top 10 debut on Monday, at No. Open experience, but it was far from an average WTA Tour event -- there were some similarities.
Mouratoglou is a larger-than-life personality, a television analyst in two languages and a tennis academy owner who embraces the spotlight that comes with coaching one of the greatest players in tennis history. He came through the private sector to the top of tennis, while Bruneau rose through the ranks in Tennis Canada, the national federation for whom he's worked nearly his entire career.
He's been a low-profile player and happy that way -- until Andreescu's rise suddenly shone the spotlight on him. And unlike Mouratoglou, for whom this is old hat, Bruneau is every bit the Grand Slam final rookie his charge is. It's the first time for me, too, that I'm the coach of a player who's in a Grand Slam final," Bruneau said.
I learned a lot then. And I think it's prepared me for what's going on now. But he praised her skills as a competitor. So if Andreescu is at that level now, and at 19 she's in a Grand Slam final, it's because she's a great competitor," he said.
But all you have to do is look at her head-to-heads against the top 10 -- and see she's never lost to a top She just does it," he added. But of course, nothing is routine about a Grand Slam final. Obviously she has a legend against her on the other side of the court, but that should not change what she has control over.
I think that's going to be the message," Bruneau said.