New York (AFP) - Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu said Saturday's US Open final victory over 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams was a "dream come true".
The 19-year-old defeated six-time US Open winner Williams 6-3, 7-5 to become Canada's first Grand Slam singles champion, and the youngest Slam titlist since Maria Sharapova in 2006.
"It's so hard to explain in words but I'm just beyond grateful and truly blessed. I've worked really, really hard for this moment," Andreescu said.
"This year has been a dream come true. Being able to play on this stage against Serena, a true legend of the sport, is amazing.
"It wasn't easy at all. I tried to prepare my best like I do every match, I tried not to focus on who I'm playing. I'm really proud of how I dealt with everything."
Her triumph at Flushing Meadows capped a remarkable 12 months for 15th seed Andreescu, who was ranked outside the top 200 this time last year after falling short in US Open qualifying for the second season in a row.
"Last year wasn't an easy period in my life with injuries but I persevered and told myself not to give up," she said.
"I just keep telling myself keep working hard and keep the momentum. Hopefully I can keep going."