Former world number one Serena Williams will face US Open champion Emma Raducanu in the opening round of the Western…
Former world number one Serena Williams will face US Open champion Emma Raducanu in the opening round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Tuesday.
The first, and potentially last, meeting between these two stars of past and future sees Williams looking to roll back the years and thrill the crowd in her last Cincinnati campaign before retirement.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion made worldwide headlines last week when she announced her intention to retire from tennis following the upcoming US Open.
In an interview with Vogue magazine, Williams admitted “the countdown has begun” towards the end of her playing career and that she is ready to focus on family life.
Serena has won more Grand Slam singles titles than any other player in the Open Era and is one adrift of Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24.
Having missed out on this year’s Australian Open and French Open before suffering a First Round exit at Wimbledon, Williams registered her first singles win in 14 months by defeating Spain’s Nuria Parrizas Diaz at the Canadian Open last week before losing out to Belinda Bencic in straight sets.
She now faces an opponent who is 21 years her junior but who has won just 10 of 23 matches played so far this season.
Since her incredible triumph at Flushing Meadows last year, Raducanu has struggled to live up to the new level of expectation and will be desperate to find some form to take into her title defence at the end of the month.
The Brit did reach the Quarter-Finals of the Washington Open a fortnight ago but was then beaten by Camila Giorgi in Round One in Toronto the following week.
Raducanu will no doubt be relishing the opportunity to face one of the sport’s all-time greats but can expect little backing from a partisan home crowd.
Former world number one Victoria Azarenka awaits the winner in the Second Round later in the week.
Williams vs Raducanu is available to watch via a live stream on desktop, mobile or tablet devices from approximately 12am BST.
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