Serena Williams brought one chapter of her career to a close Wednesday, playing in her final match at the Canadian Open in Toronto.
Going up against Swiss player Belinda Bencic, Williams could not match what the No. 12 seed brought. Bencic won the match in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. The match was Williams’ first since her cover story in Vogue in which she announced her plans to “evolve away from tennis” following the upcoming U.S. Open.
On the court after the match, Bencic called the night “really special.” The two matched up four times prior to last night, with Serena winning three of the matches.
“It’s always an honor to be on the court with Serena,” Bencic said. “Tonight is about her, especially here in Toronto.”
A two-time winner of the Canadian Open, Williams took her flowers and a standing ovation as she exited the court at Sobeys Stadium for what likely will be the final time.
“It was a lot of emotions, obviously. I love playing here, I’ve always loved playing here,” Williams said on the court after the match. “I wish I could have played better but Belinda played so well today. It’s been a pretty interesting 24 hours.”
A standing ovation for the legend @serenawilliams in her final match in Canada 👏#NBO22 pic.twitter.com/TfhBXvCuJB— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) August 11, 2022
A standing ovation for the legend @serenawilliams in her final match in Canada 👏#NBO22 pic.twitter.com/TfhBXvCuJB
Growing emotional, Williams called the tournament “so memorable.”
“Like I said in my article, I’m terrible at goodbyes. But, goodbye Toronto,” she said. “I’ve always had some amazing times here, both on and off the court. I’ll be coming back just as a visitor to this city.
“It’s been remarkable. I’ve had some really amazing matches out here, some really cool wins.”