Belinda Bencic admitted that just stepping on court against Serena Williams was "really overwhelming" On Wednesday, Bencic lost 6-2 6-4 to Williams in the second round of the National Bank Open in Toronto. Just a day before, Williams announced her plans to withdraw from her at this year's US Open.
Bencic broke Williams twice in the first set and once in the second to earn a straight-set win and end the American's final campaign in Canada. "Of course it's super nice, but today it's a little bit sadder in a way. I really don't want him to retire.
I feel like always, in a way, you know what he's achieved and everything, his whole legacy and his career and everything. But now that it's almost over I feel like people, myself included, are noticing even more. Just being on court against her today was, yeah, really overwhelming, I'd say," Bencic said, according to the WTA website.
The Toronto crowd rooted for Williams, but Bencic was able to stay focused and escape with a win. Williams will also play at a WTA 1000 event in Cincinnati before heading to New York for the US Open. Bencic says that playing Williams at the US Open will definitely not be easy as Williams' opponent and the entire stadium will be behind the 23-time Grand Slam champion.
"In a way, with her I almost feel like she's a star every time I see her," Bencic said. "It's hard to play against her. It's hard to put that aside and focus on the match. Because I feel like I don't know how to play because I feel a little paralyzed watching her.
The crowd was amazing tonight."
Lindsay comments on Serena
Academy Award winning producer Van Lathan and noted media personality Rachel Lindsay talked about Serena Williams. "She was never supposed to be dominating her sport.
She wasn't. Tiger, you could almost make that argument for as well," Rachel Lindsay said. "But for Michael Jordan, black men being great at basketball. Tom Brady, a white man being a great quarterback. I'm just saying - you know what I'm saying.
I'm not discrediting what they have done, what they have accomplished but Serena Williams was never supposed to dominate the sport of tennis. Everything was against her." Lindsay highlighted how Williams had to fight battles on the physical and mental fronts to surmount all the odds she faced.
"So, she had to not only overcome things with a physical talent, she had to do things mentally based on (being a) black woman and her socioeconomic status," she added. "To me, she is so inspiring."