Serena Williams was forced to retire after four games during the Rogers Cup final because of back injury leaving her still seeking her first title since becoming a mother.
After four games in the final against Bianca Andreescu, Williams retired, handing the title to Andreescu, the 19-year-old of Canadian and Romanian descent leaving her to become the 1st Canadian to win the tournament since 1969.
The two women had a friendly conversation and Andreescu bent down to hug Williams after she retired. “I’m sorry I couldn’t do it today, I tried. But I just I couldn’t do it. Thanks to Jehovah for letting me come out here. And Bianca, you’re a great sports woman. And thanks for my team. It’s been a tough year but we’ll keep going” a crying Williams told the crowd in Toronto.
Williams said the back issues first began on Saturday night after her semifinal victory over Marie Bouskova, and then they acted up again during the final on Sunday. Williams, who turns 38 next month, was playing her first tournament since losing in the Wimbledon final last month to Simona Halep.
Williams has won 23 career Grand Slam titles and needs one more to tie Margaret Court’s all-time mark of 24.
Andreescu, meantime, becomes the first Canadian in 50 years to win the title in her home country.
“I know how it is to pull out of tournaments and this is not easy. And this is not the way I expected to win and for you to go off the court. But you are truly a champion. I watched you so play so many times. You are truly a champion on and off the court” Andreescu said.