Emma Raducanu stuns Serena Williams on Cincinnati debut

Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu got her Western and Southern Open debut off to a dream start after beating Serena Williams in straight sets.

The British number one played out her first ever match in Cincinnati against the legendary Williams, who recently announced she will be stepping away from tennis.

Raducanu secured a convincing 6-4, 6-0 win over the 23-time Grand Slam champion to book her place in the second round.

The two stars took to the court in the early hours of Wednesday morning to play out a blockbuster clash.

The mouthwatering tie served as preparation for both women ahead of the US Open. It will certainly be a confidence boost for Raducanu, who will enter the tournament to defend her title.

Williams on the other hand, will play out the final leg of her farewell tour before she calls time on an astonishing career.

Despite Williams showing glimpses of her incredible capability throughout the match, the tennis legend ultimately struggled against Britain’s rising star.

Raducanu breezes past Williams

The Cincinnati opener was just Williams’ fourth match of the season and despite showing fight, the former world number one looked out of sorts in her performance.

The 40-year-old struggled to find her rhythm and hit 12 unforced errors throughout the match to Raducanu’s one.

Raducanu broke Williams twice in the first set to tee her up for a convincing victory before rounding off the match with a bagel in the second set.

Her victory in Cincinnati marks her 12th of the season and sets her up for a second round clash against Victoria Azarenka on Wednesday.

Outpour of support for Williams

Williams, a two-time winner of the Cincinnati Masters, said a short farewell to the Ohio tournament following her loss.

She exited the court promptly after shaking hands with Raducanu and thanking her for “a great game.”

The crowd remained vocal for Williams right until the end — savouring every point she won.

Her four-year-old daughter Olympia was present in the stands, cheering her on with the adoring crowd. Fellow tennis star Naomi Osaka also came down to show her support for Williams.

Raducanu paid homage to the queen of the court during her post-match interview, admitting she was absolutely fine with the crowd being fully behind Williams.

The 19-year-old looks in good shape heading into the second round and more importantly, ahead of her first ever Grand Slam title defence.

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