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Serena Williams bows out of Cincinnati for last time with loss to Raducanu

Emma Raducanu makes quick work of Serena Williams in what was the marquee matchup of the Cincinnati first round on Tuesday. Raducanu advances to another intriguing contest against Victoria Azarenka.

Serena Williams played for the last time in Cincinnati on Tuesday night. Unfortunately for her legion of fans, it did not last long.

Williams struggled to be competitive with reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu, as the 40-year-old lost their first-round match 6-4, 6-0 in just one hour and five minutes. It was Williams’ third setback in four matches since beginning her comeback from a year-long absence at Wimbledon earlier this summer. She has only a victory over Nuria Parrizas-Diaz in the Toronto opening round to show for her efforts.

A rough draw in Cincinnati proved to be too much for the American in her hopes to record a second win. Although Raducanu may not be the form that carried her to an improbable title last season in New York, the 19-year-old produced a near flawless performance on Tuesday. She dropped serve only once, and that was when she already had a double-break lead in hand during the first set. Raducanu broke Williams five times in eight return games, winning an absurd 14 of 16 second-serve return points.

 

Raducanu on Serena Williams: “Everything she has achieved is so inspirational.”

“Well, I think we just all need to honor Serena and her amazing career,” Raducanu told the crowd afterward. “I’m so grateful for the experience to have been able to play her and for our careers to have crossed over. Everything she has achieved is so inspirational. It was a true honor to share the court with her.

“The atmosphere tonight was amazing. Even when you guys were cheering for her, I was like, ‘You know what, (I’m) all for it.’ To be honest I was nervous from the first point to the last point, ’cause I know what a champion she is; she can come back from any any situation. I really had to stay focused and I’m just so pleased that I managed to keep my composure.”

The 13th-ranked Brit will meet Victoria Azarenka in the round of 32.

Cincinnati WTA 1000, other first-round matches and results

  • Madison Keys vs. Yulia Putintseva
  • Beatriz Haddad Maia vs. Jelena Ostapenko
  • Anastasia Potapova vs. Simona Halep
  • Marie Bouzkova (Q) beat Coco Gauff (11): 7-5, 1-0, ret.
  • Shelby Rogers (WC) beat Sofia Kenin (WC): 6-2, 6-1
  • Marta Kostyuk beat Camila Giorgi: 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
  • Karolina Pliskova (14) beat Venus Williams (WC): 7-5, 6-1
  • Anna Kalinskaya (Q) beat Martina Trevisan: 7-6(2), 7-5
  • Shuai Zhang beat Naomi Osaka: 6-4, 7-5
  • Elise Mertens beat Anhelina Kalinina (Q): 6-1, 6-1
  • Sorana Cirstea beat Belinda Bencic (12): 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-4
  • Sloane Stephens (WC) beat Alize Cornet: 6-1, 6-0
  • Caroline Garcia (Q) beat Petra Martic (LL): 6-3, 6-3
  • Ajla Tomljanovic (Q) beat Taylor Townsend (Q): 6-4, 3-6, 7-5
  • Victoria Azarenka beat Kaia Kanepi: 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
  • Tereza Martincova (Q) beat Nuria Parrizas Diaz (LL): 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3
  • Ekaterina Alexandrova beat Leylah Fernandez (13): 6-4, 7-5
  • Petra Kvitova beat Jil Teichmann: 6-7(2), 7-6(6), 6-3
  • Catherine McNally (WC) beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich: 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(2)
  • Alison Riske-Amritraj beat Sara Sorribes Tormo: 6-1, 7-6(2)
  • Amanda Anisimova beat Daria Kasatkina (9): 6-4, 6-4
  • Veronika Kudermetova beat Barbora Krejcikova: 6-3, 6-3
  • Elena Rybakina beat Mayar Sherif: 6-3, 6-2
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