Emma Raducanu to face retiring Serena Williams for the first time as US Open preparations continue in Cincinnati


mma Raducanu will face retiring Serena Williams for the first time in the first round of the Western & Southern Open next week.

The next hard-court tournament in Cincinnati, which begins on Monday, acts as a key warm-up for Britain’s No. 1 as she prepares to defend her fairytale-winning US Open title against fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez l ‘last year.

Raducanu faces a tough test in the first round against Williams, with the draw for the men’s and women’s singles competitions conducted on Friday night.

Former World No1 Victoria Azarenka or Estonian Kaia Kanepi will await the winner in the second round.

Serena announced earlier this week in an article for Vogue that she was set to retire from tennis after the US Open, which she last won for the sixth time in 2014, revealing that the ” countdown had begun” and that she would “evolve away”. of tennis” after an illustrious career at the top.

Emma Raducanu has never played against Serena Williams in a competitive match

/ Getty Images

The 40-year-old remains in pursuit of the elusive 24th Grand Slam singles title that would finally see her equalize with Margaret Court, after being stunned by Harmony Tan in an epic first-round match on her return after almost a year of injury. at Wimbledon earlier this summer.

Since then, Williams has edged Nuria Parrizas Diaz at the National Bank Open before falling to 12th seed Belinda Bencic in the second round.

Raducanu went just one more round at Wimbledon and was immediately dropped in Toronto by defending champion Camila Giorgi, after beating Louisa Chirico and Camila Osorio before losing to Liudmila Samsonova in the Citi Open quarter-final at Washington.

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