Serena Williams was bounced out of the Canadian Open Masters in Toronto Wednesday night by Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-4.
Serena announced yesterday that she’s close to retiring from the sport which added to the emotions of the match.
In this battle of former Canadian champions, it was all Bencic. The Swiss broke Serena early in the first and then toward the end of the second. Bencic used her lethal backhand and guile to move Serena around the court, and get the 23-time Slam winner on several misdirection’s.
“Of course it’s super nice, but today it’s a little bit more sad in a way,” said Bencic. “I don’t really want her to retire. I feel like I’ve always, in a way you know what she’s achieved and everything, all her legacy and career and everything. But now that it’s soon to be over I feel like people, and me included, are realizing it even more.
“Just standing on the court against her today was just, yeah, really overwhelming, I would say.”
After the loss, Serena stayed on court where she was awarded jerseys from the Raptors and Leafs, and was also presented with a picture.
“It was a lot of emotions obviously,” Said Serena who was near tears. “I love playing here, I’ve always loved playing here. I wish I could have played better but Belinda played so well today. It’s been an interesting 24 hours.”
“As I said in the article, I’m terrible at goodbyes. But, goodbye Toronto.”
Serena will now look to the Cincinnati Masters and then in her likely final event, the US Open.
The day began with Coco Gauff winning a thriller over the powerful Elena Rybakina 6-4, 6-7(8), 7-6(3). Gauff saved break points early in the third and then used her speed to force the Wimbledon champion into crucial errors down the stretch.
More upsets hit the draw as Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit both fell. Kontaveit lost to Jil Teichmann 6-4, 6-4.
Jabeur succumbed to a stomach issue retiring down 6-1, 2-1 to teen qualifier Qinwen Zheng. Zheng will now meet Canadian star Bianca Andreescu who hung on to defeat Alize Cornet in the final match of the day on center.
Iga Swiatek cruised past Ajla Tomljanovic and 2021 finalist Karolina Pliskova hammered Amanda Anismova 6-1, 6-1. It was the world No. 1s 19th straight win on hard courts dating back to Miami.
“I’m pretty happy that I could actually just play my game. It was the first match so it’s never easy,” she said. “But I feel like I found my rhythm and it was a pretty solid performance.
“From the first practice I played here I felt really good. And even though there was jet lag and I was coming back from clay I felt like I was in a good place.”
Tomorrow, in third round play Pliskova battles Maria Sakkari, Bencic battles Garbine Muguruza, Gauff gets Aryna Sabalenka and Swiatek returns to face Beatrice Hadad Maia.
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