Tennis news | Serena Williams retires, wipes away tears after loss to Belinda Bencic, farewell to Toronto
An emotional Serena Williams wiped away tears after being beaten by 12th seed Belinda Bencic in Toronto.
Just a day after confirming that the end of her career was near, the 40-year-old couldn’t compete with her Swiss opponent, who was relatively calm in the 6-2 6-4 victory.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s been a joy playing in front of you all these years, so thank you,” Williams said after the game with tears in his eyes.
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“It was a lot of emotions, I always liked playing here, I wish I could have played better but Belinda played so well.
“It’s been a pretty interesting 24 hours.
“It was so memorable. I suck at goodbyes, but goodbye Toronto.”
The match began with a video tribute to Williams from Billie Jean King and Wayne Gretzky.
“We were very lucky to have Serena Williams in our sport,” King said.
“Great athlete, a lot of people think she’s the GOAT, and I think every generation gets better, so right now she’s the GOAT.
Billie Jean King pays tribute to Serena Williams retirement
“Serena has transcended our sport, she has gone way beyond the boundaries of just being an athlete.
“This is just the beginning for Serena.”
The crowd was right behind Williams in the match against Bencic, but the tone was set early, when Williams was broken for love early in the first set, giving up the break with a double fault.
On the next point, she missed a routine volley with the court wide open, the gap between her and the 12th ranked player in the world painfully obvious.
Bencic needed five set points to close out the first set, even surviving a break point, the only opportunity Williams would have during the match.
The second set also went to the script for Bencic, who beat Williams in the seventh game before serving the match.
“Tonight was really special, it’s quite overwhelming, I never imagined facing Serena so many times and it’s always an honor to be on the pitch with her, that’s why I think tonight is about her,” Bencic said.
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