In what a short final today in Toronto between 3-time champion Serena Williams and Canadian teen Bianca Andreescu. Just four games in and down 4-1, Serena walked to her chair, sat down and began crying unexpectedly. Once the medical team came over along with Andreescu, you could here her say her back wasn’t well enough to compete and the match was over.
“It started yesterday in my match and it just got worse,” said Serena. “Just my whole back just completely spasmed, and to a point where I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t really move.”
“I don’t want to get this far and not at least try,” said Williams. “I think I would have really regretted not at least going out there and seeing maybe if a miracle happened.”
Andreescu didn’t see anything out of the ordinary with Serena.
“I didn’t notice anything whatsoever,” Andreescu said of Serena’s injury. “It was very surprising. But sometimes things happen, and, sadly, it had to be like that. But I wish her the fastest recovery.”
“‘You’re going to bounce back,'” Andreescu said she told Serena. “‘You’ve dealt with so much in your career, this is just a minor setback for a major comeback, I’m sure.’ And she was really nice. She was saying very nice things about me, so I really appreciated that.”
The 19-year-old Andreescu began the year ranked No. 178. She now has two of the biggest titles in North American winning Indian Wells in March and now her home Canadian Open. And she becomes the first Canadian to take the title in 50 years.
“I would say that the win in Indian Wells was a hard-fought battle,” said Andreescu. “So I felt like it was a sweeter victory at the time. But this tournament is at home. I’ve dedicated so much hard work and sweat on that tennis court and in this gym, so this tournament is definitely ten times more special.”
Her effort this will will vault to about No. 14 in the ranking, ensuring her of a Top 16 seeding at the US Open and becoming the highest ranked teen. Quite a remarkable rise for someone who was playing $25,000 level challenger events at the end of 2018 and who missed a significant portion of 2019 due to a shoulder injury.
During the week, Andreescu won three 3-set matches then toughed out Sofia Kenin before her win today. So far, she’s now 7-0 against Top 10 players!
Serena, who now falls to 0-4 in finals as mom, has just over a week to be ready for the US Open which begins next Monday.
“It’s difficult for me to serve, I mean, I could move, but I need my upper body,” Serena added. “My lower body was fine, but I just couldn’t do anything with my upper body and, again, for this period of time.
“I had so much treatment before, hours and hours of treatment. So I just knew. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to continue.”
After the match, both players withdrew from Cincinnati.
— WTA (@WTA) August 11, 2019
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