‘She definitely modified the sport’: Emma Raducanu prepares to battle ‘inspiring’ Serena Williams on 23-time Grand Slam champion’s retirement tour, with duo set for first round clash in Cincinnati on Monday
- Emma Raducanu is preparing to face Serena Williams in Cincinnati on Monday
- The Brit will tackle Williams in the primary round of the Western and Southern Open
- American Williams, 40, is preparing for retirement after 23 Grand Slam titles
- Raducanu spoke positively of Williams, saying it should be ‘incredible’ to play her
For thus long, Serena Williams was a reputation to avoid on tour.
Now, the retiring 23-time Grand Slam champion represents a bucket-list challenge for anyone who grew up idolising her.
Those that are yet to check themselves against Williams wish to play an element in her farewell tour and, while the likes of Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff and Ons Jabeur hope for that likelihood, Emma Raducanu may have it in Cincinnati on Monday.
Emma Raducanu (above) is preparing to face 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams
40-year-old Williams will retire after the US Open in Flushing Meadows, her home tournament
On one side of the court might be a 19-year-old in the beginning of her profession.
On the opposite might be a 40-year-old legend at the top of hers. It’s a primary meeting that comes days after Williams announced her retirement.
US Open champion Raducanu spoke warmly concerning the sporting icon ahead of their first-round clash.
‘It’s incredible,’ said Raducanu, seeded tenth on the Western and Southern Open.
Raducanu said: ‘There’s not been someone who has dominated like her in the ladies’s game.’
‘She has achieved a lot. To see her around on this US swing is absolutely inspiring. She keeps playing because she obviously loves the sport.
‘That longevity of a profession is something that a number of the players and me especially, we aspire to realize as well. She definitely modified the sport.
‘There’s not been someone who has dominated like her in the ladies’s game.’
The winner of Williams against Raducanu will face Victoria Azarenka or Kaia Kanepi.
The winner of the match-up will face Victoria Azarenka or Kaia Kanepi within the second round
After Cincinnati, Williams will turn her attention to the US Open. Flushing Meadows is a fitting setting for a final farewell.
Dan Evans’ impressive run on the National Bank Open has been halted by Pablo Carreno Busta, who defeated the Briton in three sets in Montreal.
The 32-year-old British No 2 was eventually outlasted 7-5, 6-7, 6-2 within the semi-final.
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