Emma Raducanu thrashes struggling Serena Williams to earn confidence-building win

Serena Williams congratulates Emma Raducanu of Great Britain after their match during the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 16, 2022 in Mason, Ohio - Getty Images North America
Serena Williams congratulates Emma Raducanu of Great Britain after their match during the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 16, 2022 in Mason, Ohio – Getty Images North America

Emma Raducanu showed shades of the level that earned her a maiden grand slam title as she handed Serena Williams a ‘bagel’ in a comfortable straight sets win at the Western and Southern Open.

It was a near-perfect match from the British No 1, recording just one unforced error in a 6-4, 6-0 win in front of a sold-out crowd in Cincinnati, Ohio.

For Williams, this was another setback as she gets set to bid farewell to the sport at the US Open, which begins on August 29. After the pair shook hands at the net, Williams packed her bags and swiftly left the court, declining an on-court interview request and thwarting plans by the tournament to pay tribute to her.

cincinnati open emma raducanu vs serena williams live score round 1  - GETTY IMAGES
cincinnati open emma raducanu vs serena williams live score round 1 – GETTY IMAGES
cincinnati open emma raducanu vs serena williams live score round 1  - GETTY IMAGES
cincinnati open emma raducanu vs serena williams live score round 1 – GETTY IMAGES

Raducanu entered the match with back-to-back defeats and question marks about the upcoming defence of her title in New York. But she made a fast start here, breaking Williams to love in the opening game and racing into a 4-1 with a double break.

Williams showed some signs of her all-conquering best, getting one of the breaks back and forcing Raducanu to serve for the set but the Briton was coolness personified, hitting an ace to seal it.

In years gone by, you would have expected a response from Williams, a two-time winner of the event.

But there was no such recovery as Raducanu broke Williams’ ailing serve again at the start of the second set and never looked back. The 19-year-old sealed victory when Williams put one last return into the net and earned what she will hope is a momentum-building win ahead of the US Open.

cincinnati open emma raducanu vs serena williams live score round 1  - GETTY IMAGES
cincinnati open emma raducanu vs serena williams live score round 1 – GETTY IMAGES

Sensing the moment, not just for her but also for Williams, there were no wild celebration from Raducanu, who gave a reserved fist pump in the direction of her support box, which included Russian coach Dmitry Tursunov, who remains on trial with her this week.

With Williams’ quick exit, the floor was left for Raducanu to pay tribute to Williams, who has one win in her last three tournaments.

“I think we all need to just honour Serena and her amazing career,” said Raducanu. “I’m so grateful for this experience to play her and for our careers to have crossed over. Everything she achieved is inspirational and it was a true honour to share the court with her.

“The atmosphere tonight was amazing. Even when you guys (the crowd) were cheering for her, I was all for it.

“I was nervous from the first point to the last point, she can come back from anything and I was pleased I was able to keep my composure.”

cincinnati open emma raducanu vs serena williams live score round 1 - GETTY IMAGES
cincinnati open emma raducanu vs serena williams live score round 1 – GETTY IMAGES

Next up for Raducanu is former world No 1 Victoria Azarenka in the second round on Wednesday evening and if she can maintain this level of performance and clinical edge, she could put herself in a strong position going into the final grand slam of the year.

Published by anthonyhayble

I AM A PROFESSIONAL BLOGGER WHO BLOGS ON EVENTS, NEWS AND CELEBRITY ACTIVITIES. YOU WILL GET THE LATEST BLOGGING UPDATES WITH UP TO DATE NEWS AND EVENTS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU. COMMENTS AND LIKES ARE ALSO WELCOMED. I AM STILL IN THE PROCESS OF BUILDING AND UPDATING MY BLOGS AND IT WOULD BE UP AND RUNNING SHORTLY. THIS IS STILL A NEW SITE AND WILL GREATLY IMPROVE WITH TIME

%d bloggers like this: