Williams not thinking about 2018 controversy before facing Andreescu

Serena Williams

US Open 2019
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 26 Aug – 8 Sep
Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

Serena Williams says she has not thought about her controversial defeat against Naomi Osaka in last year’s US Open final as she goes again for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.

The American, 37, called umpire Carlos Ramos a “thief” and a “liar” as he docked her a game amid extraordinary scenes on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

She meets Canadian Bianca Andreescu, 19, in this year’s final on Saturday.

On last year’s final, Williams said: “It hasn’t really crossed my mind.”

Williams is competing in her 10th US Open singles final, 20 years after her maiden victory in New York, while Andreescu is playing in her first Grand Slam final on her main-draw debut at Flushing Meadows.

Andreescu was not even born when Williams won her first Grand Slam title here in 1999.

“I remember watching her when I was about 10. I watched her win most of her Grand Slam titles,” Andreescu, seeded 15th, said.

“I’m sure she’s going to bring her A game. I’m going to try to bring my A game, too. Hopefully, I guess, may the best player win.”

Serena Williams and Bianca Andreescu head-to-head graphic

Williams feeling ‘more relaxed’ as she aims for 24

Twelve months ago, Williams was at the centre of one of the most controversial moments in tennis history on her way to a two-set defeat by Japan’s Osaka.

The home favourite launched a furious tirade against Portuguese official Ramos after he punished her for receiving coaching from Patrick Mouratoglou and smashing a racquet as she grew more frustrated at the start of the second set.

That led to Ramos, who has not chaired a Williams match since, docking her a point and issuing the further punishment of a game’s penalty for a tirade questioning his integrity.

A poisonous atmosphere developed on Ashe as the New York crowd turned on Ramos with deafening boos.

Williams has refused to speak in detail about the incident publicly since, although said she felt “disrespected by a sport that I love” in a first-person piece