The day after the announcement of her future retirement, the American lost (6-2, 6-4).
A day after announcing her impending retirement, Serena Williams could not afford a break at the WTA 1000 in Toronto, knocked out in the second round by Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic on Wednesday, unlike world No.1 Iga Swiatek finished 8th without a hitch.
The 40-year-old American, who won her first match of the year on Monday, six weeks after her missed return to Wimbledon, by beating unassuming Spaniard Nuria Parrizas Díaz, this time fell harder than her , yielding 6 -2. 6-4 in 1h18 against the 12th player in the world.
If she was able to make her power speak at times, Williams paid for an obvious lack of mobility and too many unforced errors, only creating a breakaway chance in the bottom of the first inning, in front of a crowd won over its cause . , some with placards reading “queen(Queen) or simply “Thanks“.
“She could have played better, but Belinda was very good. I was very happy to be here today. These 24 hours have generated many emotions. Like I said, I’m not good at goodbyesWilliams commented, his eyes glazed over.
The day before, he had announced that “the countdown is onregarding his retirement from the courts, after a 25-year career and 23 Grand Slam titles to his credit.
“There comes a time in life when you have to decide to take a new route. It’s always a tough time when you love what you do so much. And god knows I love tennis“, he explained on his Instagram account and in an interview with Vogue magazine, saying that he wanted”savor the next few weeks“.
His schedule should take him to Cincinnati on Monday, before the US Open (Aug. 29-Sept. 11), which he has won six times and could be the perfect place for a farewell. “It’s always an honor to be on the court with her.“, he paid tribute to Bencic, winner of the tournament in 2015, who will face Spain’s Garbine Muguruza (8th) in the 8th.
Earlier, as calm as expeditious, Iga Swiatek, winner of the last Roland-Garros, made a success of her entry into the competition at the expense of the Australian 6-1, 6-2 Ajla Tomjanovic (72nd). Irresistible in the spring on the American hard court, where she won in Indian Wells and Miami, the Pole is off to a perfect start to her summer, which should also take her to the US Open where she will be the favorite to try . there, win a second Grand Slam in 2022.
Abandonment of Badosa and Jabeur
Making her second tournament start since losing to Alize Cornet in the third round at Wimbledon, which ended her 37-match winning streak, she had no trouble disposing of Tomjanovic. The latter, from qualifying, only resisted him at the start of the second set, breaking twice in a row, before conceding after 1:05.
“I am very happy that I was able to play my game. It was the first game, so it’s never easy. But I feel like I found my groove, it was a pretty solid performance” said Swiatek. The Pole, in search of a seventh title in 2022, will face Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia (24th), who was eliminated 7-6 (7/4), in the next round 6-1 of Canadian Leylah Fernandez (13th), last year’s US Open finalist.
Meanwhile, Coco Gauff (11th), defeated in the final of Roland-Garros by Swiatek, played for fear before finally defeating 6-4, 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (7 /3) Kazakh. Elena Rybakina (27th). The 18-year-old American will challenge Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (6th) in the round of 16.
Finally, two favorites were forced to withdraw: the Spanish Paula Badosa (3rd), victim of cramps, and the Tunisian Ons Jabeur (5th), finalist at Wimbledon, with breathing difficulties, respectively in favor of Yulia Puntisteva ( 46a) and Qinwen. Zheng (51st).
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