TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 09: Emma Raducanu returns the ball during her National Bank Open tennis tournament first round match on August 9, 2022, at Sobeys Stadium in Toronto, ON, Canada. (Photo by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)


Emma Raducanu will face Serena Williams for the first time in her career after the pair were drawn to face each other in the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Williams, who will turn 41 next month, indicated this week that she was planning retirement soon, stating she was ‘evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me’.

The 23-time grand slam champion’s exit from the sport could come after the upcoming US Open – where Britain’s Raducanu will be defending the title she won as an unseeded 18-year-old a year ago.

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Emma Raducanu suffered a first-round exit at the hands of Camila Giorgi in Toronto

Before then, the pair will meet for the first time in Cincinnati on Monday, with the winner of the first-round clash taking on either Victoria Azarenka or Kaia Kanepi in the next round.

Williams – also a teenager when she claimed the first of her six titles at Flushing Meadows in 1999 – was tearful following her second-round exit to Belinda Bencic at the National Bank Open in Toronto on Wednesday, saying: “I’m terrible at goodbyes.”

Raducanu went out in the first round of the tournament, losing 7-6, 6-2 to defending champion Camila Giorgi following her quarter-final loss to Liudmila Samsonova at Washington’s Citi Open.

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Judy Murray says that Serena Williams changed the face of women’s tennis and her legacy will continue to inspire players after her retirement

Meanwhile, in the men’s Cincinnati tournament, Rafael Nadal returns to the court for the first time since suffering an abdominal tear that forced him to withdraw from the semi-finals at Wimbledon in July.

The Spaniard has been given a bye to the second round, while British number one Cameron Norrie – who is seeded ninth – will take on Denmark’s Holger Rune in the first round.

Dan Evans faces Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic at the same stage, while Andy Murray must overcome Taro Daniel of Japan in the qualifying round to reach the main draw.





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