Aug. 11 (UPI) — Bianca Andreescu became the first Canadian player to win the Rogers Cup in 50 years Sunday after an upper back injury forced American star Serena Williams to retire.
Andreescu held a 3-1 advantage in the first set when Williams called for a medical timeout. Shortly later, the chair umpire announced that Williams was retiring from the match.
The Rogers Cup final lasted only 16 minutes before Williams retired. It marked Andreescu’s second WTA Premier title of the season.
“This isn’t the way I expected to win or for [Serena] to go off the court, but [Serena] is truly a champion on and off the court,” Andreescu told reporters. “I’m speechless. I’m the first Canadian to win here since 1969. It’s a dream come true. I’ve had many, many tough matches, [but] I kept telling myself, ‘Never give up.’ I tried to look at it all as a challenge and not a setback.”
After Williams’ retirement, the former world No. 1 player began to cry on her bench. Andreescu walked over and comforted the 23-time Grand Slam winner.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t do it today,” Williams said on the court. “I tried, but I couldn’t. Bianca, you’re a great sportswoman. It’s been a tough year but I’m going to keep going.”
Andreescu’s run in the Rogers Cup included three-set wins over Genie Bouchard, Karolina Pliskova, Kiki Bertens and Daria Kasatkina. The 19-year-old Canadian also defeated Sofia Kenin in two sets during the semi-final.