August 11, (THEWILL) – Serena Williams, who announced this week that she will soon end her illustrious tennis career, left the WTA Toronto Masters on Wednesday, after losing to Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-4.
At 40, and playing only her third match of 2022 against the reigning Olympic gold medalist from Switzerland, Williams’ defeat in the second round was scarcely shocking. After 78 minutes, Bencic had eight aces, broke Williams twice in the first set and once in the second, and was on her first match point.
But as Bencic herself acknowledged during the on-court post-match interview, the story of the game was going to be all about Williams, especially in the light of her retirement. Williams’ final on-court interview in Canada was very emotional.
Fans, who had cheered her on throughout the game, were understandably teary as they listened to her post-match comments. She said: “I love playing here, I’ve always loved playing here. I wish I could have played better tonight, but Belinda was playing so well.”
For her first singles victory since the 2021 French Open, which was 14 months ago, Williams, who will turn 41 next month, defeated Spain’s Nuria Parrizas Diaz on Monday before announcing in an essay published in Vogue magazine and an Instagram post that “the countdown has begun” to her retirement.