Thousands of fans had flocked to Cincinnati to watch the hotly anticipated clash between the 23-time major winner and the reigning US Open champion.
Williams recently announced her imminent retirement from the game and this tournament was likely her penultimate event before she puts down her racquet for good in New York.
Yet, it was evident that the 40-year-old was far from fully fit as Raducanu eased to an emphatic 6-4 6-0 victory over the former world number one.
This was just the ninth time that Williams had suffered a ‘bagel’ in her career and the American was clearly subdued after the match.
While the crowd expected her to say a few words as she had done in Toronto last week, she declined to do the same this time around and quickly left the court.
Williams snubs interview
Tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg tweeted that Raducanu tried to stop Williams for an on-court interview but the American walked straight past her and proceeded to the exit.
Check it out below.
While Serena received a roaring reception as she left the court, some fans were disappointed in the actions of the tennis icon, especially as so many people had come to watch her.
“It was a little bit sad Serena’s reaction after the game. I mean, Emma was playing with a legend she admired and that was pretty disappointing,” one fan said.
However, others stressed that the US star did nothing wrong and should not have to speak after losing.
“Serena is not obligated to talk on-court after losing. The winner shouldn’t have to either,” wrote one user.
Another put: “I don’t blame her honestly! They don’t need to make her cry on camera again! I’m sure she’s regretting not having ‘evolved’ earlier. This is tough to watch!”
Emma Raducanu gets a confidence building win ahead of her US Open title defense, soundly beating Serena Williams 6-4, 6-0 in R1 of #CincyTennis.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 17, 2022
Serena 0-2 since announcing her retirement. Emcee tried to stop her for an on-court interview for the crowd, but Serena blew past.
Raducanu praised for ‘mature’ words
“I think we all need to just honour Serena and her amazing career,” Raducanu said after the match.
“I’m so grateful for the experience of being able to play her and for our careers to have crossed over and everything that she has achieved is so inspirational. It was a true honour to share the court with her.”
Fans were quick to praise the Brit for her interview and highlighted her maturity.
“Such a nice tribute from Emma,” said one.
Meanwhile, another wrote: “Very classy post-match interview from Emma Raducanu.”
A third put: “Emma is a great ambassador for the sport. I think her affection for Serena was genuine and she deserved to win as she played exceptionally well.”
Who will Raducanu play next?
Next up for Raducanu is two-time major champion Victoria Azarenka.
The Belarusian saw off Kaia Kanepi in her opening match and reached the quarter-final of the Citi Open earlier this month.