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Serena Williams loses the first match since announcing her retirement

Belinda Bencic beat Williams in the second round of the National Bank Open on Wednesday

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Serena Williams, winner of an unprecedented 23 Grand Slam titles, announced her retirement from tennis on Tuesday. Williams was defeated by Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-4 in their second round match at the National Bank Open, her first match since making her intentions clear.

After Wednesday’s match, Williams remarked, “It’s been a pretty interesting 24 hours.” “My inability to say “goodbye” is a major flaw of mine. To Toronto, however, farewell.”

Williams has been limited by a leg injury, so this was only his third tournament of the year.

Bencic, then ranked 12th, had just returned from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, where she had won a gold medal for Switzerland. The rising star, now 25 years old, is no stranger to the spotlight; in 2019, she advanced to the semifinals of the US Open.

Despite her retirement announcement, Williams has not specified when she will play her last match. When the US Open begins on August 29 in New York, Williams intends to be there. Williams has won six US Open titles, the most recent of which came in 2014.

Williams said, as she detailed her retirement plans for Vogue, “It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine.” I’m ready for what comes next, but I don’t want this to end.

It is anticipated that Williams’ participation in the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati will serve as a warmup for the US Open.

The 40-year-old tennis pro has won 23 Grand Slam tournaments, second only to Margaret Court’s 24. (24). Since Williams’s 2017 Australian Open victory, she’s been trying to match Court’s record.