The 23-time Grand Slam champion had to withdraw from the match due to a back injury

By Claudia Harmata
August 11, 2019 03:20 PM

Bianca Andreescu, the 19-year-old Canadian tennis star, claimed the championship title over Serena Williams in the 2019 Rogers Cup Finals after Williams retired from the game due to back spasms.

The decorated tennis champion retired from the match Sunday after four games due to a back injury, according to ESPN, which also reported that Williams could be heard telling Andreescu of her back spasms.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t do it today, I tried,” a tearful Williams told the crowd in Toronto, according to Forbes. “But I just I couldn’t do it. Thanks to Jehovah for letting me come out here. And Bianca, you’re a great sports woman. And thanks for my team. It’s been a tough year but we’ll keep going.”

Williams reportedly explained that the issues had begun Saturday night during her semifinal victory over Marie Bouskova.

At the time of Williams’ withdrawal, Andreescu was leading 3-1.

Serena Williams
Credit: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

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Credit: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Credit: Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

“I’m sorry I couldn’t do it today, I tried,” the 23-time Grand Slam champion said on the sidelines, according to the BBC.

“Serena, you made me cry. I know how it is to pull out of tournaments, it’s not easy,” Andreescu said, the outlet reported.

“This wasn’t the way I expected to win. You are truly a champion,” the Canadian added. “I’ve watched you win so many times, you are truly a champion on and off the court. I’m speechless right now. This has been a dream come true.”

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Andreescu became the first Canadian to win the Rogers Cup women’s singles title in 50 years. The victory became her second WTA Premier title of the season, following her victory at Indian Wells.

Prior to the final match, Williams went head-to-head with Naomi Osaka in the quarterfinal match on Friday, almost a year after their controversial match at the U.S. Open in September 2018.

The match marked the first time the two had played against each other since Williams’ defeat in the U.S. Open final. Williams beat Osaka 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the semifinals of the Rogers Cup.