One day after announcing her intentions to retire from tennis, Serena Williams was defeated by Belinda Bencic in the second round of the National Bank Open on Wednesday night. Bencic won in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.
National Bank Open @NBOtoronto
.<a href="https://twitter.com/BelindaBencic?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BelindaBencic</a> makes in 2-0 against <a href="https://twitter.com/serenawilliams?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@serenawilliams</a> in Toronto. <br><br>She joins the <a href="https://twitter.com/nationalbank?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nationalbank</a> Winner's Circle with a repeat performance of the 2015 semi-final. 👏<br><br>#️NBO22 <a href="https://t.co/xr8DloeiIG">pic.twitter.com/xr8DloeiIG</a>
Williams took the first point in the first set but quickly lost momentum as Bencic won the next three points. Bencic managed to break Williams twice in the set to take the victory.
In the second set, Williams once again opened strong and took a 3-2 lead. But Bencic rattled off three straight points to take the advantage. Williams managed to hold serve on the next point, but Bencic did the same to take match point. After the match, Williams was honored on the court for her last tournament in Toronto:
Lindsay Dunn @LindsayDunnTV
An emotional Serena Williams wipes a tear from her face as she gets a standing ovation after her final match in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/toronto?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#toronto</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBO22?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBO22</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SerenaWilliams?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SerenaWilliams</a> <a href="https://t.co/4WrUehdGxv">pic.twitter.com/4WrUehdGxv</a>
On Tuesday, Williams wrote in a personal essay for Vogue that she plans on ending her legendary career after the 2022 U.S. Open, which will begin Aug. 29.
"I have never liked the word retirement," Williams stated. "It doesn't feel like a modern word to me. I've been thinking of this 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 up to is evolution. I'm here to tell you that I'm evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me."
Williams' win in the first round Tuesday over Nuria Parrizas-Diaz was her first victory since the 2021 French Open. The National Bank Open is just her second tournament of the season after she returned to competition a little over a month ago at Wimbledon, where she was defeated in the first round by Harmony Tan.
Bencic will face Garbiñe Muguruza in the third round Thursday.