A tearful Serena Williams admitted to feeling “a lot of emotions” as she was beaten in straight sets by Belinda Bencic in Toronto.
Williams, playing her first match since announcing her imminent retirement from the sport, lost 6-2 6-4 to the Swiss to exit the Canadian Open at the second round stage.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner, widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, revealed in an interview with Vogue magazine this week that she was “evolving away” from tennis and is “ready for what’s next”.
“It was a lot of emotions, obviously,” she said in her on-court interview after the loss, as she wiped away a tear. “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.”
She added: “I was really happy to be out here today and play in front of you guys, thanks for the support.”
The 40-year-old is expected to bow out after this summer’s US Open but her preparations for the Grand Slam event suffered a blow with this defeat.
From Serena 💜
To Toronto 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/gjcX1QnoeG
— wta (@WTA) August 11, 2022