Tennis-Andreescu embraces spotlight with U.S. Open triumph

By Amy Tennery

By Amy Tennery

NEW YORK, Sept 7 (Reuters) - So new is Bianca Andreescu to the Grand Slam stage that after beating Serena Williams to win the U.S. Open on Saturday, a tournament official had to show her which side of the trophy was the front.

The moment marked the end of a remarkable run for the 19-year-old Canadian, who a year ago failed to qualify for the tournament, but has gone on to become the sport's brightest young star.

"Last year wasn't an easy period in my life, I was going through a lot with injuries," said Andreescu.

"I just kept believing in myself I kept working hard and I just kept that momentum and confidence."

Dropping only two sets in the entire tournament, the tenacious, power-hitting Andreescu barrelled through the competition at Flushing Meadows, showing no sign of a slowdown from a blockbuster summer that included wins at Toronto and Indian Wells.

Ending 2018 with a year-end ranking of 178, she had rocketed to 15th when she arrived at the year's final major, a meteoric rise that stunned even her coach.

Her surge into the game's elite culminated on Saturday with a 6-3 7-5 victory over 23-times Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams.

And the young upstart said she is not planning on slowing down any time soon.

"I love this feeling way too much," Andreescu said in a televised interview after the match, as her loyal Canadian fanbase cheered behind her on the plaza outside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"I'm really looking forward to what I can do in many years to come." (Reporting by Amy Tennery Editing by Toby Davis)