Serena Williams’ first stop on the Farewell Tour came to an abrupt end when she lost 6-2, 6-4 to Belinda Bencic in the second round of the Canadian Open the day after she announced her retirement from tennis. Oops.
Williams arrived on the court to a standing ovation and had the full support of a sold out crowd throughout the 77-minute match, but was unable to rekindle the old magic that helped her win three titles in Canada.
“It’s been a very interesting 24 hours. I’m so bad at goodbyes. But goodbye Toronto,” an emotional Williams told the audience. I will be back as a visitor to, but other than that it was amazing.”
After the game, Williams presented the team jerseys of Toronto’s NBA and NHL teams to her and her daughter, who was in attendance, as well as a bouquet of flowers she took off the court while wiping away tears.
Before the match, comments from tennis pioneer Billie Jean King, current players like Coco Gauff and Emma Raducanu, ice hockey great Wayne Gretzky, and highlights from Williams’ Canadian win A tribute video featuring
The much-anticipated bout saw the 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams write in a Vogue article that she was “evolving away from tennis” and plans to retire from a sport that has dominated for more than two decades. It took place the day after the announcement was made.
Olympic champion Bencic saved the only break point he faced in the first set to break Williams twice to take a 5-2 lead, but the 12th seed Bencic struggled to win the first set. required 5 set points for .
In the second set, Bencic got the one break she needed to lead 4-3 when Williams double-faulted and closed out the match with her serve when Williams delivered a long return. When the Swiss never looked back.
“It was obviously a lot of emotion,” Williams said of how he felt about being on the court. “I love playing here, I always loved playing here. I wish I could have played better, but Belinda played very well today.”
Next to Bencic is Spain’s No. 8 seed Garbine Muguruza, who beat Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi 6-4, 6-4.
World No. 1 Iga Sfiatek, defending champion Camila Giorgi, Coco Gauff, Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, Jessica Pegula and Alina Sabalenka are among other players who have reached the last 16 of the US Open tune-up event. was included.
‘Goodbyes are terrible’: Serena Williams begins farewell tour with Canadian Open loss | Serena Williams
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