Serena Williams was forced to retire her match due to unrelenting back spasms that brought the tennis icon to tears.
On Sunday, Williams was only 16 minutes into the finals match in Toronto against Canadian Bianca Andreescu when she took a medical timeout and made the difficult decision to stop.
Andreescu was ahead 3-1. A ref announced that Williams would retire, rendering a decision that gave Andreescu the Rogers Cup win, a first for Canada since 1969, but her second WTA Premier title this season, The Daily Mail reports.
During an emotional moment for Williams, Andreescu walked over to her and knelt down and held her hands to comfort Williams as she wept.
“I watched you your whole career. You’re a f–king beast.”
Serena Williams had to retire from the Rogers Cup with an injury, and her opponent Bianca Andreescu came over to comfort her. Respect 🙏
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 11, 2019
“Serena, you made me cry,” Andreescu told the 23-time Grand Slam winner.
“I know how it is to pull out of tournaments, it’s not easy.
“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.”
Williams said thank you to her Toronto fans for the support.
“I’m not a crier, but, thank you guys,” Williams said during her acceptance speech for second place.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t do it today. I tried but I just couldn’t do it.”
You are still magic Serena. Know that.