Toronto: Serena Williams' first US Open tune-up ended in dramatic fashion as the American retired with injury while trailing Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu 3-1 in the Rogers Cup final on Sunday.
Williams, who hopes to chase a record-equalling 24th career grand slam title at the US Open, seemed fine on court but suddenly sat crying in her chair before deciding to retire 19 minutes into the match with a back spasms.
"I'm sorry I couldn't do it today. I tried but I just couldn't do it," a tearful Williams, who struggled to get the words out, told the crowd.
"It's been a tough year but we'll keep going."
The 37-year-old Williams, whose competitive action this year has been severely limited because of knee issues, declared herself pain-free ahead of the tournament, which she was hoping to use as a springboard for the rest of her hardcourt swing.
But the six-time US Open champion, still without a title since returning from maternity leave in 2018, now faces her latest setback with the year's final grand slam just two weeks away.
She said the spasms began during her three-set semi-final win over Czech Marie Bouzkova on Saturday.
They got so bad that she was unable to sleep and could not really move but she added that she at least wanted to try and play the final.
"I was just trying to figure out how do you play a match where you have no rotation?" said Williams.
"And I don't want to get this far and not at least try.
"I think I would have really regretted not at least going out there and seeing maybe if a miracle happened."
As Williams sat dejected in her chair, Andreescu, who is no stranger to injury setbacks, went over to console her.
The pair embraced and had a heartfelt conversation during which the former coulRead More – Source