Defending U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu defeated 23-time grand slam singles champion Serena Williams in the opening round of the 2022 Cincinnati Open.
In Raducanu’s first and likely last game against Williams, the British tennis player claimed victory in the highly anticipated opening-round match at the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday night.
Raducanu, who was dominant from the beginning of the match, ended the game in a 6-4, 6-0 win in straight sets.
“To be honest, I was nervous from the first point to the last point,” Raducanu told The New York Times. “I know what a champion she is. She can come back from any situation. I just had to stay focused. I’m just so pleased I managed to keep my composure.”
The 19-year-old tennis player reportedly earned 75 percent of the points on her second serve, while Williams struggled with her timing and footing.
The 40-year-old star previously announced her retirement from tennis in an essay published in Vogue on Aug. 9, noting her desire to have another child.
“There is no happiness in this topic for me,” Williams wrote. “I know it’s not the usual thing to say, but I feel a great deal of pain. It's the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate it.”
“I hate that I have to be at this crossroads,” she added. “I keep saying to myself, I wish it could be easy for me, but it’s not. I’m torn: I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next.”
Williams won her first Grand Slam singles title at the age of 17 in 1999, three years before Raducanu was born. Last year, Raducanu, who grew up with Williams dominating the tennis scene, became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam title in the U.S. Open since 1977.
“We all should honor Serena and her amazing career,” Raducanu said. “I’m so grateful for the experience to have been able to play her and for our careers to have crossed over. Everything she’s achieved is so inspirational. It was a true honor to share the court with her.”
In June, Williams was ousted from Wimbledon in the first round by 24-year-old newcomer Harmony Tan.
Featured Image via WTA