Tennis legend Serena Williams completed her final Canadian Open on Wednesday and the process of saying goodbye left her in tears.
The athlete has been a household name in the world of tennis for decades now. At the age of 40, she announced to fans that she would be making the transition away from the sport in order to focus on family.
“I have to move on from playing tennis,” she wrote in an article published by Vogue. “I know it’s not the usual thing to say, but I feel a great deal of pain. It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads. I keep saying to myself, I wish it could be easy for me, but it’s not. I’m torn: I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next.”
Serena Williams discusses her last Canadian competition
As she explained her retirement plans, Williams alluded to the US Open being her final competitive match. Since then, she has actively been closing the books at other major events in order to prepare for her final swan song. On Wednesday, the 23-time Grand Slam champion played her final match in the Canadian Open against world No. 12 and 2020 Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic. Although she lost the match, she felt fulfilled in her farewell.
Turning to the crowd at Center Court, Williams wiped tears away from her eyes and addressed the fans that have supported her through thick and thin. “It’s been a joy playing in front of you guys all these years,” she said before adding, “Thank you.”
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However, the 40-year-old mother had more heartfelt sentiments to share after the match. During interviews with various media outlets, she reflected on her career and the special memories she’s made in Toronto.
“It’s just been so memorable,” Williams told Vogue after the match. “Like I said in my article, I’m terrible at goodbyes, but… goodbye, Toronto!”
“I’ve always had some amazing times here both on and off the court, I’ll be coming back just as a visitor to this city,” she continued, reflecting on the time she’s spent in the Canadian city. “Otherwise, It’s been remarkable, I’ve had some really amazing matches here, some really cool wins, a crazy match against [Bencic] a few years ago, that was pretty intense.”
Serena Williams is expected to play at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati before she travels to New York City for her final US Open.
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