Bianca Andreescu and Serena Williams didn’t know much about eachother’s games, or personalities, before Sunday.
An emotional afternoon at the Aviva Centre brought out the best in both women, who might very well have formed a bond over the heartache.
“I know how she feels because I’ve done that many times in my short career. But sometimes you just have to listen to your body,” the Canadian Andreescu said of 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams’ retiring from the match in the opening set with an ailing back.
Andreescu, who become the first Canadian to win on home soil in 50 years, has missed a combined four months on tour this season with a right-shoulder injury.
The teen and the legend shared an embrace on court after Williams called for a trainer and determined she would not continue the match.
“I started tearing up because she was tearing up,” Andreescu said. “Because I know how she feels. Injuries really, really suck.”
Added Williams in her post-match news conference: “I think Bianca is a great girl, always have. That’s why I have always wanted to play her. She’s just a fabulous personality. She’s an old soul.”
Williams, who will move to world No. 8 despite Sunday’s defeat, said she has dealt with similar back spasms throughout her career.
“That’s the most frustrating part is that, I mean, I’ve had this before and it’s, like, 24, 36 hours where I’m just in crazy spasm and then it’s, like, gone,” the three-time Rogers Cup winner said. “And so that’s a little bit frustrating for me because I know that I could play. I just can’t play today.”
In the doubles final that followed, top-ranked Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic downed Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Demi Schuurs of the Netherlands, 7-5, 6-0.
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