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Emma Raducanu reacts after winning a point against Serena Williams. Photo: AP

Emma Raducanu outclasses Serena Williams in generational clash in Cincinnati

  • In a highly anticipated opening-round match at the Western & Southern Open, Emma Raducanu took down 23-time grand slam winner in straight sets
  • Williams struggled to find her rhythm as the 19-year-old Raducanu played clean and clinical match

US Open champion Emma Raducanu ousted Serena Williams in the opening round of the Cincinnati Open early Wednesday morning in a highly anticipated generational clash.

Raducanu was dominant from the start, breaking Williams in the opening game before rolling to a convincing 6-4, 6-0 win.

The British teen, who described their match-up as “an amazing gift”, broke Williams at the start of both sets to claim victory in what was her first and likely last meeting with the 23-time grand slam singles champion.

Emma Raducanu on her way to defeating Serena Williams in the opening round of the Western & Southern Open. Photo: AFP

“I was nervous from the first point to the last,” Raducanu said in an on-court interview. “Serena is dangerous and can come back from any situation.”

The 40-year-old Williams, who announced she is stepping away from tennis after the US Open, was competing in only her fourth match of the season.

The 23-time major champion won her first match in over a year last week at the National Bank Open, defeating Nuria Parrizas Diaz in straight sets before bowing out to Olympic champion Belinda Bencic.

“I think we all just need to honour Serena and her amazing career,” Raducanu said.

“I’m so grateful for the experience of getting to play her and for our careers to have crossed over. Everything she has achieved is so inspirational and it was a true honour to get to share the court with her.”

Earlier in the day, Naomi Osaka’s US Open preparations suffered another setback as the former world No 1 was swept aside 6-4, 7-5 by China’s Zhang Shuai.

Zhang, who needed just 75 minutes to secure her place in the second round, had not defeated a major winner since the first round of the 2020 Australian Open, where she took out Sloane Stephens.

The 33-year-old has enjoyed a solid season to date, including capturing her third career title in Lyon in February and also reaching the Birmingham final in June.

The No 44-ranked Zhang will next meet Ekaterina Alexandrova as she bids to reach the third round in Cincinnati for the first time.