Raducanu ousts Serena in opening round in Cincinnati

MASON, Ohio — Emma Raducanu outlasted Serena Williams in a highly anticipated opening-round match Tuesday at the Western & Southern Open.

Raducanu was dominant from the start, breaking Williams in the opening game before rolling to a 6-4, 6-0 win.

The 40-year-old Williams, who announced she is stepping away from tennis after the US Open, was competing in only her fourth match of the season. The 23-time major champion won her first match in over a year last week at the National Bank Open, defeating Nuria Parrizas Diaz in straight sets before bowing out to Olympic champion Belinda Bencic.

On Tuesday, Williams struggled to find her rhythm. Raducanu, 19, played clean tennis throughout the match. Raducanu fired just one unforced error to go with eight winners in the first set, while Williams misfired on 12 unforced errors to go with 11 winners. Raducanu broke Williams twice in the opening set to build a quick 4-1 lead before Williams generated her first and only break point of the match. Williams converted to close the gap but Raducanu coolly served out the opening set after 39 minutes.

With a set in hand, the Brit raced away in the second set to collect her 12th win of the season, hitting zero unforced errors to close the match. She will face former No.1 Victoria Azarenka in the second round.

“I think we all need to just honor Serena and her amazing career,” Raducanu told the crowd after the match. “I’m so grateful for the experience of being able to play her and for our careers to cross over. Everything that she’s achieved is so inspirational and it was a true honor to share the court with her.”

Stat of the game: Raducanu hit just one unforced error in the match while striking 14 winners. Williams finished with 19 winners, including seven aces, along with 19 unforced errors.

Watch this: Emma Raducanu honors Serena Williams after Cincinnati win

2022 Cincinnati

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