Serena Williams could also be within the dwelling stretch of her profession, however the 23-time Grand Slam champion’s aura stays, Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic mentioned Wednesday. “You possibly can really feel her presence in all places. She has that aura …whether or not you prefer it or not you’re intimidated, you’re scared,” mentioned Bencic, who nonetheless managed to quell her feelings and beat Williams 6-2, 6-4 within the former world primary’s remaining match on the WTA Toronto Masters.
“I am star-struck each time I see her, it is so tough to play her,” Bencic mentioned. “I really feel like I am paralysed a bit bit, simply, like, watching her.”
Williams, who turns 41 subsequent month, had overwhelmed Spain’s Nuria Parrizas Diaz on Monday for her first singles victory because the 2021 French Open, 14 months in the past.
She revealed in an essay in Vogue journal and an Instagram submit on Tuesday that “the countdown has begun” to her retirement from the game.
She is predicted to compete subsequent week in Cincinnati and on the US Open later this month earlier than turning her consideration to new enterprise pursuits and her household life.
“It was a extremely particular match, the event was actually large,” mentioned Bencic, who gained Olympic gold in Tokyo final yr.
“It was extra than simply about tennis, it was actually all about Serena and her profession.”
Bencic claimed her second profession victory over Williams.
She was an 18-year-old on the rise when she shocked the American within the semi-finals at Toronto seven years in the past.
“It positively felt very particular to have the ability to be on court docket together with her at present once more,” Bencic mentioned. “I by no means imagined ever enjoying in opposition to her — and beating her twice now in Toronto.”
Wednesday’s victory, nonetheless, was bittersweet.
“At this time is a bit bit extra unhappy in a approach,” Bencic mentioned. “I do not actually need her to retire.”
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