Due to an untimely injury, Serena Williams was forced to withdraw from the Rogers Cup Finals match. After getting off to a rough start Williams requested a medical timeout. Shortly after the timeout the umpire made an announcement that Williams would retire from the match. Williams’ withdrawal meant that her opponent, 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu would be named the winner.
Andreescu is now the first Canadian to win this Cup in 50 years. She also showed great sportsmanship when upon hearing the news of Williams’ withdrawal, she went over to comfort and encourage her devastated opponent who was visibly heartbroken.
“I’m not a crier, but, thank you guys,” Williams said choking back tears while accepting the second-place prize. “But I just I couldn’t do it. Thanks to Jehovah for letting me 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.”
Williams explained to reporters that the spasms started during her Saturday semifinal match against Marie Bouskova. While she was victorious in the semifinals, her symptoms worsened. “It started yesterday in my match and it just got worse,” she said. “Just my whole back just completely spasmed, and to a point where I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t really move. And so I was just trying to figure out, ‘How do you play a match where you have no rotation?’”
She went on to say: “I would have really regretted not at least going out there and seeing maybe if a miracle happened. I’ve had this before and it’s 24-36 hours where I’m in crazy spasm and then it’s gone. That’s frustrating for me because I know that I could play. I just can’t play today.”