TORONTO – Serena Williams’ first U.S. Open tune-up ended in dramatic fashion as the tearful American was forced to retire with a back injury while trailing Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu 3-1 in the Rogers Cup final on Sunday.
Williams, who hopes to chase a record-equaling 24th career Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open, seemed fine on the court but suddenly sat crying in her chair before deciding to retire 19 minutes into the match with back spasms.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t do it today. I tried but I just couldn’t do it,” an emotional Williams, who struggled to get the words out, told the crowd.
“It’s been a tough year but we’ll keep going.”