August 12, 2019
Serena Williams was reduced to tears after a back injury forced her to retire during the 2019 Rogers Cup final match on August 11.
Her opponent, Bianca Andreescu, is captured consoling the tennis legend in an emotional video found below.
Things did not go quite as planned for Williams, 37, who had to back out after four games during the Canadian Open final in Toronto on Sunday.
According to Forbes, Williams had been trailing 19-year-old Canadian player Andreescu 3-1 in the match before realizing she couldn’t go on any longer.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner, who is yet to win a title since becoming a mother in 2017, broke down in tears at the sidelines while Andreescu came over to comfort her.
The emotional show of sportsmanship was captured on camera and showed the moment both athletes hugged as Williams struggled to hold back tears.
It was indeed a heartwarming moment, and even the crowd seemed to agree as they cheered while a Canadian supporter went as far as holding up a placard saying: “Serena, you’re an idol!”
Speaking to the crowd, later on, a tearful Williams said:
“Thank you guys! 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 even come out here. And Bianca, you're a great sportswoman. And thanks for my team. It's been a tough year but we'll keep going.”
The tennis champion reportedly said her back spasms first began on Saturday during her semifinal victory over Czech’s Marie Bouskova in the tournament, and they acted up again during the final on Sunday.
Andreescu, who became the first Canadian to win the Rogers Cup women’s singles title since 1969, described Williams as a true champion.
"Serena, you made me cry. I know how it is to pull out of tournaments, it's not easy," the Canadian tennis star said, per BBC.
“This wasn't the way I expected to win. You are truly a champion. I've watched you win so many times, you are truly a champion on and off the court. I'm speechless right now. This has been a dream come true.”
According to the outlet, Williams has only ever retired in a singles' final once throughout her career – at the 2000 Rogers Cup, the same year Andreescu was born.
It's not surprising that Williams would get emotional over having to back out of the Rogers Cup Final from injuries.
The mom to 23-month-old daughter Olympia Ohanian has reportedly had to pull out of 5 of 7 events this year alone due to injury, and for a tennis legend, that must be humbling.
Here's wishing the amazing Serena Williams all the best as she prepares for future tournaments. You go, girl!
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