Tearful Serena quits Canadian final


Bianca Andreescu became the first Canadian winner of the Rogers Cup in the Open era after Serena Williams was forced to retire during the early exchanges of the final in Toronto.

The 23-time grand slam champion Williams was under pressure from the start as she survived break point in the opening game of the match before Andreescu surged into a 3-1 lead inside 19 minutes.

However, the American was unable to continue as she returned to her chair after the fourth game and was forced to retire due to an upper back injury, which saw the 37-year-old reduced to tears.

Andreescu consoled Williams after her retirement was confirmed as the emerging teenager lifted her second title of the campaign in front of her home crowd.

There has not been a home winner of the event, which first took place in 1892, since Faye Urban defeated Vicki Berner in an all-Canadian final in 1969.

Andreescu said: “I’m speechless right now. I’m the first Canadian to make the final and win this tournament since 1969. This week has not been easy, I’ve had many, many tough matches, and especially what I’ve been through the last two months hasn’t been easy. I kept telling myself never give up.”

Andreescu, who was born in Thornhill, less than 15 miles north of Toronto, was making her first appearance since the French Open second round due to a right shoulder injury.

The 19-year-old, who defeated two top-10 players en route to the final, will break into the world’s top 20 for the first time in her career on Monday.

•Sam Bothwell staked a claim for a place in Ireland’s next Davis Cup team with a big win as Ulster finished runners up at the senior interprovincial championship in Dublin at the weekend.

The 21-year-old from Hillsborough defeated Leinster’s current international Osgar O’Hoisin 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 as Ulster drew 3-3 with the hosts in their final match.

Bothwell had been named as reserve with O’Hoisin preferred in last month’s Davis Cup series in San Marino but will surely come back into contention for a place in the starting side next time around.

Unfortunately, his win wasn’t enough to help Ulster lift the trophy as Leinster went on to win the men’s doubles and retain the title by a single point, despite a subsequent victory for the McCullough twins Annie and Caitlin in the ladies doubles.