It definitely changed the game: Emma Raducano prepares to battle ‘inspiring’ Serena Williams on the 23-time Grand Slam champion’s retirement tour, as the duo prepares for a first-round match in Cincinnati on Tuesday
- Emma Radocano is preparing to face Serena Williams in Cincinnati this week
- The Briton will meet Williams in the first round of the West and South Open
- American Williams, 40, is preparing to retire after 23 Grand Slam titles
- Raducanu spoke favorably of Williams, saying it would be ‘amazing’ to play her
For a long time, Serena Williams was a name to be avoided on the tour.
Now, the retired 23-time Grand Slam champion is a challenge on the award list for anyone who grew up in love with her.
Those who haven’t yet tested themselves against Williams want to play a part in her farewell tour, and while the likes of Ega Swiatek, Coco Gauff and Ons Jabeur are hoping for that opportunity, Emma Radokano will have her in Cincinnati this week.
Emma Raducano (above) prepares to face 23-times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams
The 40-year-old will retire after the US Open at Flushing Meadows, her homegrown tournament
On one side of the court will be a young 19-year-old at the start of her career.
On the other hand, it will be a 40-year-old legend at the end of a legend. It’s the first meeting that comes days after Williams announced her retirement.
US Open champion Radocano spoke warmly of the sports icon ahead of his first-round match.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Radocano, the 10th seed at the Western and Southern US Open.
“There’s never been someone so dominant in the women’s game,” Raducanu said.
You have achieved a lot. Seeing her in this American swing is truly inspiring. She keeps playing because she obviously loves the game.
“This long career is something that a lot of players and I in particular aspire to achieve. It has definitely changed the game.
“There was no one who dominated like her in the women’s game.”
The winner of Williams will face Radokano against Victoria Azarenka or Kaia Kanepi.
The winner of the match will face Victoria Azarenka or Kaia Kanepi in the second round
After Cincinnati, Williams will turn her attention to the US Open. Flushing Meadows is the perfect place to say goodbye.
Pablo Carreno Busta halted Dan Evans’ impressive performance at the National Bank Open, who defeated the Briton in three sets in Montreal.
The 32-year-old British No. 2 eventually prevailed 7-5 6-7 6-2 in the semi-finals.