Create

"It was celebratory; It was sad; Because you want to keep her (Serena Williams) playing forever; But that doesn't happen in sport" - Canadian Open tournament director Karl Hale

Serena Williams bids farewell to the Canadian Open crowd
Serena Williams bids farewell to the Canadian Open crowd

Serena Williams kicked off her goodbye tour midway through her stint at the Canadian Open.

Williams announced what she referred to as her evolution – she has never liked the word retirement – away from tennis in a first-person essay for Vogue that was published after her first-round win in the tournament.

The farewell ceremony fit for a legend such as Williams did not have to wait much longer, though, as the 40-year-old 23-time Grand Slam champion bowed out to Belinda Bencic in the second round.

A standing ovation for the legend @serenawilliams in her final match in Canada πŸ‘#NBO22 https://t.co/TfhBXvCuJB

Williams, who is expected to retire after the US Open, then thanked and bid adieu to the sellout crowd of 12,500 fans.

Canadian Open tournament director Karl Hale said that Williams' impending retirement was both celebratory and sad, because one would like the American tennis great to "keep playing forever."

"It was celebratory. It was sad. Because you want to keep her (Serena Williams) playing forever. But that doesn't happen in sport," Hale said during a press conference.
"So, just happy that she was here. Because six weeks ago, I never imagined her and Venus (Williams) would be here," he added.

Hale also said that although he had an "inclination" about Williams' retirement, he had no idea that the announcement would come on Tuesday.

"I had an inclination that she (Serena Williams) was retiring. I didn't know the bombshell was coming on Tuesday. Very grateful that she won Monday and we could have this experience for all our media partners, fans, and partners this week," said Hale.
A touching send off from @TennisCanada at the @NBOtoronto to the retiring Serena Williams. This framed picture acknowledges her three titles in Toronto in 2001, 2011 and 2013 with a message at the bottom that says, β€œThe Greatest of All Time.β€πŸ“· @ImagesByNeena https://t.co/LjX3I7Apws

He added that Williams was a "gracious person" as he recalled memories of the three-time Canadian Open winner.

"The memories with her, she's a three-time champion. She really supported our event throughout her 21-plus years of playing this. Really gracious person," he said.

"Now she's looking forward to three weeks of very interesting engagement upon her retirement" - Karl Hale recalls post-second-round match conversation with Serena Williams

Serena Williams prepares to leave the stadium at the Canadian Open
Serena Williams prepares to leave the stadium at the Canadian Open

Canadian Open director Karl Hale continued to speak about Serena Williams, who began her farewell tour at the tournament.

Asked if he had the chance to speak to Williams before she left, Hale said that the former long-time No. 1 felt she played "really well" in her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic and that she was looking forward to the next three weeks.

"Serena, in particular, she said after the match that she thought she played really well. She thought she could give a little bit more. But I think she was happy with the way she played. Not the result," said Hale at the press conference.
"Now she's looking forward to three weeks of very interesting engagement upon her retirement," he added.

Is Serena Williams a Jehovah's Witness? Why American legend doesn't celebrate birthdays or Christmas

Quick Links

Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
Be the first one to comment