Tuesday, 20 August, 2019


Serena Williams: 'Back spasms are incredibly painful'

Serena rallies past Bouzkova into Toronto final Rogers Cup: Bianca Andreescu wins title as Serena Williams retires injured
Noah Ferguson | 13 August, 2019, 06:42

19-year-old Bianca Andreescu claimed the title in front of her hometown crowd.

"It's been a tough year but we'll keep going", added the 37-year-old, who lost in the finals of Wimbledon and US Open as well.

It's not the ending either player wanted, nor the fans.

On the women's side, Canadian tennis history was made. "And, hopefully, this win can give me momentum into the U.S. Open". But only four games into the first set, she was suffering from back spasms and had to see trainers on the court before eventually having to retire from the match, making Andreescu the champion. "I've had this before and it's like 24-36 hours where I'm just in insane spasm and then it's like gone", the 23-time grand slam champion told a news conference.

It's clear it came from a place of understanding and admiration.

Rafael Nadal and Bianca Andreescu won the respective men's singles and women's singles titles of the Rogers Cup after winning their final clashes.

Since returning to competition after Olympia's birth she has reached three Grand Slam finals but has been unable to equal Australian Margaret Court's record of 24 major titles.

Williams addressed the spectators at the end and admitted: "I'm not a crier, but I'm sorry I couldn't do it today".

WORLD CUP: Sacramento forward Marvin Bagley III is withdrawing from consideration for the USA roster that will be sent to China this month for the FIBA World Cup.

For one, the outside expectations that weren't placed on the rising superstar prior to a few months ago, or even a week ago, now exist in perpetuity, or at least for as long as the Canadian succeeds on the WTA Tour.

The Rogers Cup champions have made a decision to take a break this week after capturing titles on Sunday.

What transpired next is one of the reasons that so many people love sports.

And with the US Open starting on August 26, the legendary Williams is in a race to be fit for a potential fortnight's run on New York's hard courts. Roger Federer is second with 102.

It didn't pan out perfectly given Williams' match retirement, but it was nevevertheless riveting stuff.

As Williams sat dejected in her chair, Andreescu, who is no stranger to injury setbacks, went over to console her. 8 U.S. Open.

But he didn't shy away from voicing his frustration. But at this stage in my career, after what I've been through with my shoulder and just injuries in the past, I try not to take anything for granted right now.

"I've never found another bed like that anywhere".

When Williams explained her pain to Andreescu, she responded, "This sucks".

"In that first phase, it is incredibly painful, to a point where I usually don't get out of bed. It hasn't necessarily been the most enjoyable season so far".

And while Williams was keeping her Cincinnati options open, Andreescu was taking no chances, announcing later Sunday that she would skip the OH event.

Like Andreescu, Auger-Aliassime has had a rapid ascent in 2019, surging from 109th to 21st in the ATP world rankings, heading into the tournament. "It just got worse", Williams said about her injury according to the NY Post.

As for how Bianca handled this though, sportsmanship doesn't get much better than that.

Heading into the tournament the native of Richmond Hill, Ont., had taken a break from tennis to mentally reset from his recent struggles. Back in the 1960s there were no pro tournaments, only amateur matches.

Shapovalov went down in a three-set fight to world No. 4 Dominic Thiem, and hopes to carry the momentum into the Cincinnati Masters.

"I'm obviously happy to be back playing". I hardly played before then, either.

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