With the end of her illustrious career approaching rapidly, Serena Williams lost to Emma Raducanu 6-4 6-0 in the first round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
It was a highly-anticipated clash between the American legend and young British US Open champion who carries the weight of big expectations. Williams had already won 18 titles, including four majors, and held the world No.1 ranking for 18 weeks when Raducanu
was born in late 2002.
Williams struggled early in her first encounter with Raducanu, trailing 4-1, and even though she managed to win three of the next four games, the tenth-seeded teenager won the first set and absolutely dominated the second set to clinch victory in 65 minutes.
Williams is the only woman to win back-to-back titles at the Western & Southern Open in the Open Era, triumphing in 2014 and 2015.
With every Williams loss, the tension gets higher and emotions intensify as her retirement gets closer. The 40-year-old seemed to avoid the on-court interview in Cincinnati, as she quickly packed her stuff and rushed to leave, although she did wave and smile to the supportive, near-capacity crowd. The US Open is expected to be Williams’ last tournament. (photos: Jimmie48)