Serena Williams retires injured

Serena Williams retired with a back injury in the final of the Rogers Cup in Toronto, handing the title to Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu.

Williams, 37, was left in tears after suffering back spasms as 19-year-old Andreescu comforted her courtside.

The American was a break down at 1-3 in the first set when she withdrew.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t do it today, I tried,” said the 23-time Grand Slam champion. “It’s been a tough year, but we’ll keep going.”

Andreescu, who won her first WTA title at Indian Wells earlier this year, becomes the first Canadian to win the Rogers Cup women’s singles title since 1969.

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

“This wasn’t the way I expected to win. You are truly a champion. I’ve watched you win so many times; you are truly a champion on and off the court.

Williams’ only previous retirement in a singles final came at the Rogers Cup in 2000 – the year Andreescu was born.

Williams was seeking to win her first title since returning to competition in 2018 after the birth of her daughter.

The US Open, where Williams will hope to win her 24th Grand Slam title, starts on August 26.

In another development, MANCHESTER UNITED midfielder Paul Pogba has nicknamed new team-mate Harry Maguire ‘the Beast’.

Maguire, 26, enjoyed an impressive Old Trafford debut yesterday as the Red Devils hammered Chelsea 4-0 in their opening Premier League outing of the season.

Frank Lampard’s Blues hit the woodwork twice and were the better side for large parts of the game, but it was the home side who took the lead against the run of play in the 18th minute, with Marcus Rashford firing home from the penalty spot after being brought down in the box by Kurt Zouma.

And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men compounded Lampard’s misery in an astonishing second-half that saw new signing Daniel James get on the scoresheet, as well as Anthony Martial and Rashford again.

It proved a rout in the end for United, yet it was Maguire who actually received the Premier League man of the match award.–BBC

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