Serena Williams wiped away tears after losing her match at the Canadian Open on Wednesday, August 10, likely marking her last time competing in the tournament. The tennis icon, 40, who announced she would be retiring in a recent Vogue article, received a standing ovation at Toronto’s Sobeys Stadium after losing to Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic, the world No. 12 seed, in straight sets. “It’s just been so memorable,” Serena told the crowd after the game. “As I said in the article, I’m terrible at goodbyes. But goodbye, Toronto.”
During her incredible career, Serena won the Canadian Open twice. “I love playing here, I’ve always loved playing here. I wish I could have played better but Belinda played so well today,” Serena explained. “It’s been an interesting 24 hours. Anyways, this is what it is. I was really happy to be out here today and play in front of you guys, thanks for the support.”
The 23-time Grand Slam winner is expected to play next at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, followed by the U.S. Open, which she suggested would be her last tournament in the Vogue article.
In the piece published on Tuesday, August 9, Serena said she never liked the word “retirement,” as it didn’t feel like a “modern” term. “I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people,” she wrote. “Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.”
Serena went on to say that she made difficult decision to opt out of competition to focus on her family. She and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, who share four-year-old daughter, Olympia Ohanian, would like to add to their growing brood. “These days, if I have to choose between building my tennis resume and building my family, I choose the latter,” Serena concluded in the article. In addition, she wants to expand her venture capital firm, Serena Ventures.