The tennis world has praised Belinda Bencic for her beautiful act towards Serena Williams after beating the 23-time grand slam champion at the Canadian Open.
Bencic’s groundstrokes proved too much for Williams as she defeated the 40-year-old 6-2, 6-4 just a day after the tennis icon announced she would be retiring out of the game after the US Open.
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The crowd cheered for every Williams point, knowing that this could be the last time the champion graced the field in Montreal.
Bencic hugged Williams at the net and offered a few kind words, before leading her on-court interview as the winner.
However, in a classy move, Bencic thanked the crowd before calling Williams.
“I mean tonight was really special. It was pretty overwhelming for me too,” Bencic said of the occasion.
“I never thought I could play Serena so often. It’s always an honor. That’s why I think tonight is about her.”
Bencic then gestured to Williams to take the spotlight and left the interview.
Williams was surprised by the gesture and thanked Bencic as she took to the microphone in front of an admiring crowd.
“Thank you Belinda for those nice words,” Williams said.
Fans were quick to praise Bencic’s “classy” moment.
Serena Williams gets emotional after defeat
Williams admitted it was an emotional day and thanked the audience for all their support over the years.
“It was a lot of emotion because it’s clear that I like playing here,” she said in an interview on the track.
“I wish I could have played better today, but Belinda played so well.
It’s been quite an interesting 24 hours. I’m bad at saying goodbye, but goodbye, Toronto!
Williams was presented with flowers when audience members shouted, “We love you Serena.”
The 23-time Grand Slam champion became emotional as she walked off the field in tears.
She is now turning her attention to the Cincinnati Masters next week before her farewell at the US Open.
Williams’ farewell tour began after her announcement Tuesday that she would retire from tennis after the US Open.
“I never liked the word retirement,” she wrote in an article for Vogue magazine.
“Perhaps the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving from tennis to other things that are important to me.
“A few years ago I quietly started Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm. Shortly after, I started a family. I want to grow that family.”
Williams is chasing the all-time grand slam record of 24 since winning her last major title in 2017.
However, Williams admitted she was pleased with her decision to retire.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record. Of course I do. But from day to day I really don’t think about her. If I’m in a Slam final then yes, I’m thinking about that record Maybe I thought about it too much, and it didn’t help,” she said.
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