Serena Williams was beaten in straight sets at the Canadian Open by Belinda Bencic

Serena Williams lost to Belinda Bencic in her first match since announcing retirement plans

Serena Williams was beaten in straight sets by Belinda Bencic at the Canadian Open before bidding an emotional farewell to her fans in Toronto as the superstar nears retirement.

  • Serena Williams lost 6-2, 6-4 to Belinda Bencic in Toronto on Wednesday
  • It was his first match since announcing that he will soon retire from tennis
  • Williams gave an emotional thank you and goodbye to her fans in Canada

Serena Williams was defeated in straight sets by Belinda Bencic in the second round of the Canadian Open on Wednesday night before saying goodbye to her fans in Toronto.

Bencic dropped just six games in a 6-2, 6-4 win where Williams showed her best, but no more. The Swiss star kept her cool, refused to let the gravity of the match faze her and advanced to the third round.

Speaking courtside after the match, Williams thanked her fans in Canada for their support throughout her incredible career.

Serena Williams lost to Belinda Bencic in her first match since announcing retirement plans

Williams was beaten 6-2 6-4 by Bencic before saying goodbye to her fans in Canada

Williams was beaten 6-2 6-4 by Bencic before saying goodbye to her fans in Canada

Tournament organizers presented Williams with a bouquet of flowers before she left the court

Tournament organizers presented Williams with a bouquet of flowers before she left the court

“Thank you,” she said, her voice cracking. “It was a lot of excitement, I love playing here and I always enjoy paying here.

“I wish I had played better but Belinda paid off really well today. It’s been an interesting 24 hours.

“I’ve always had an amazing time here on and off the court and I’ll be back in town as a visitor. I’ve had some crazy games here.

“I’m so happy to be here today and thank you for the support. It’s been a joy to play in front of you all these years.

Paying tribute to the rival she had just beaten, Bencic said on court: “Tonight was very special, it’s also overwhelming because it’s always an honor to play with Serena. Tonight is about her.

Williams, 40, was presented with gifts, including flowers, by tournament organizers before she walked off the court to loud cheers and applause from her fans.

Williams will likely play the Open and the Southern Open, which starts on August 15, and then retire at the US Open, which starts on August 29.

Williams was visibly emotional as she said thank you and goodbye to her Canadian fans

Williams was visibly emotional as she said thank you and goodbye to her Canadian fans

Bencic competed hard against Williams and was a deserved winner on Toronto night

Bencic competed hard against Williams and was a deserved winner on Toronto night

Williams, 40, showed her best moments but 12th seed Bencic handled the occasion well.

Williams, 40, showed her best moments but 12th seed Bencic handled the occasion well.

Williams announced her retirement on Monday, in the latest issue of Vogue.

“I never liked the word,” Williams wrote. “It doesn’t feel like a modern word. I’ve been thinking about it as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people.

“Maybe the best word to describe what I’m doing is evolution,” he continued. “I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, towards other things that are important to me.

“Alexis (her husband) and I have been trying for another child for the past year, and recently received information from my doctor that reassured me and made me feel that as long as we are ready, we can addition to our family,” Williams wrote.

“I definitely don’t want to get pregnant again as an athlete. I need to be two feet in tennis or two feet outside.

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