Home hope Andreescu claims title in Toronto as Serena retires - GulfToday

Home hope Andreescu claims title in Toronto as Serena retires

Bianca-Andreescu1

Bianca Andreescu in action against Sofia Kenin during their Rogers Cup semi-final in Toronto on Saturday. Reuters

Bianca Andreescu is the first Canadian to win the Rogers Cup in 50 years. She was up 3-1 in the first set when American opponent Serena Williams called for a medical timeout.

Less than a minute later, the chair umpire announced that Williams was retiring from the match, handing Andreescu her second WTA Premier title of the season.

The 19-year-old Andreescu has now won 17 consecutive matches, not counting when she has had to retire from matches due to injury herself.

Andreescu, from nearby Mississauga, Ont., now has victories over seven of the top 10 players in the world.

Her world ranking will rise from 27th to 14th on Monday. Her previous high was 22nd.

The Rogers Cup was Andreescu’s first tournament after a right-shoulder injury sidelined her since the French Open in May.

Andreescu had been on the court more than any other player at this year’s Rogers Cup at 10 hours 54 minutes heading into the match against Williams.

The tournament’s final lasted only 16 minutes before Williams withdrew.

After the chair umpire announced Williams’s retirement the former world No. 1 started to cry on her bench. Andreescu went over to comfort her, hugging her and telling Williams how much she admires the 23-time Grand Slam winner.

Faye Urban of Windsor, Ont., beat Vancouver’s Vicki Berner in the 1969 final, when the tournament was still played on clay courts and called the Canadian Open.

As this news goes to press, Rafael Nadal is homing in on a second straight ATP title in Canada after reaching the Montreal Masters final without hitting a shot on Saturday.

The top-seeded world number two was handed an extra day of rest when Gael Monfils withdrew from their semi-final -- scheduled to start just hours after the French player defeated Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/2) in a rain-delayed quarter-final.

Nadal will aim for his fifth Canadian trophy on Sunday when he faces Daniil Medvedev, who dominated Russian compatriot Karen Khachanov 6-1, 7-6 (8/6).

Monfils and Bautista, rained out on Friday night, were delayed a further two and a half hours by rain on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Andy Murray has entered next month’s Zhuhai Championships and China Open as the former world number one steps up his singles return.

Murray will compete in his first singles event at next week’s Cincinnati Masters, seven months after his tearful revelation in Australia that his career could be over due to injury.

The two-time Wimbledon winner, back from hip surgery, is already planning further events on the Asian swing of the ATP Tour.

“As I look to play more singles events later in the year, I’m happy to announce I’ll be playing at the inaugural Zhuhai Championships in the week of Sept 23,” Murray wrote on Facebook.

“I have always enjoyed playing in China and Zhuhai is meant to be a great city. It’s close to Macau and Hong Kong, with an impressive stadium and I can’t wait to experience it.”

Murray, 32, followed up his first Facebook post with another announcing his intention to take part in the China Open.

“Some more good news for my Chinese fans... I’m also going to play Beijing the week after Zhuhai,” he said.

“I’ve got some great memories from playing in Beijing, it’s a really interesting city, and I’m looking forward to heading back there again!”

Agence France-Presse