Serena Williams got emotional on Sunday at the 2019 Rogers Cup Finals before and after her shocking loss to 19-year-old Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion was forced to retire from the competition due to back spasms, according to the Associated Press. Andreescu claimed the title, but not before comforting the iconic athlete.
Prior to the match officially ending, Williams sat on her bench, presumably attempting to fight through the spasms before heading back on the court. Instead, she broke down in tears.
Andreescu walked over and embraced her, then told her, "I watched you your whole career. You're a f**king beast."
When Williams explained her pain to Andreescu, she responded, "This sucks. On your back, right? I know everything about you."
“I watched you your whole career. You’re a f--king beast.”— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 11, 2019
Serena Williams had to retire from the Rogers Cup with an injury, and her opponent Bianca Andreescu came over to comfort her. Respect 🙏
(via @Sportsnet) pic.twitter.com/GX9NDMaNrk
When the pair hugged again, Williams got a standing ovation from the attendees at Aviva Centre in Toronto.
"I'm sorry I couldn't do it today, I tried," 37-year-old Williams later told the crowd through tears while accepting the tournament's consolation prize. "But I just I couldn't do it. Thanks to Jehovah for letting me come out here. And Bianca, you're a great sportswoman. And thanks for my team. It's been a tough year, but we'll keep going."
When Andreescu took the podium to accept the championship trophy, she noted the unorthodox ending to the competition and her deep admiration for her opponent.
"Serena, you made me cry. I know how it is to pull out of tournaments. It's not easy," Andreescu 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. I'm speechless right now. This has been a dream come true."
The loss follows Williams' defeat at Wimbledon in July to Romania's Simona Halep after making it to the women's singles final.
See more on Williams below.