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Serena Williams lost in straight sets to US Open champion Emma Raducanu

MASON, OHIO – AUGUST 16: Serena Williams congratulates Emma Raducanu of Great Britain after their match during the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 16, 2022 in Mason, Ohio. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

  • Serena Williams loses in the first round of the WTA/ATP Cincinnati Masters.
  • US Open champion Emma Raducanu wins 6-4, 6-0.
  • Williams’ older sister Venus lost to 2016 champion Karolina Pliskova.

Serena Williams lost in the first round of the WTA/ATP Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday. She was defeated by US Open champion Emma Raducanu in straight sets, and the end of her illustrious career is getting closer and closer.

Williams said last week that she plans to retire after this month’s US Open. However, she had no chance against Raducanu, a British teenager who won 6-4, 6-0.

Williams, who is 40 years old, left the court quickly after losing. She did not talk to TV reporters or hold a press conference.

Raducanu beat Williams in her first and likely last match against the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion, who she broke at the start of both sets.

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

“I had to stay focused. I’m so pleased I managed to keep my composure.”

Williams won here in 2014 and 2015, but this was only her fourth match of 2022. She started the year with an injury at Wimbledon, so this was only her fourth match of the year.

Raducanu made it clear from the start what she wanted to do by taking a break to show her love for Williams. She never gave up.

Since he won the Open last September from a qualifying start, the young Briton has won 14 times and lost 17 times.

Raducanu, on the other hand, said she was proud to be a part of the show on Tuesday, which was one of Williams’ last games as a pro.

“We all need to honour Serena and her amazing career,” she said. “I’m so grateful for the experience of playing her and for the fact that our careers have crossed.

“All she has achieved is inspirational. It’s a true honour to share the court with her.”

Raducanu never gave Williams a chance to win.

The 10th-seeded young woman from London took a 4-1 lead in the first set and swept the second. On her first match point, an unreturnable serve put her ahead.

Williams made 12 unforced mistakes in the first set, while Raducanu only made one.

Williams’ older sister Venus lost to 2016 champion Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 6-1, earlier in the day.

Nick Kyrgios started his last big US Open tune-up with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the men’s draw of the joint event.

The Australian won 29 points, 10 of which were aces, and broke the Spaniard’s serve three times to move on to the second round.

Kyrgios, who is ranked 28th, has won all 11 of his first-round matches this season. He also won his 22nd match since coming back to the ATP in June after skipping the clay season.

Now he has to play his good friend Taylor Fritz, who beat Sebastian Baez 6-1, 6-1.

“Physically, I didn’t feel the best, but you have to keep pushing, keep trying,” Kyrgios said.

“Alejandro’s a hell of a player, he’s got a lot of shots at his disposal. I had to serve well and dictate,” the Montreal quarter-finalist added. “It was tricky conditions out there, the courts are a lot more lively than Montreal, it was harder to control the ball.”

It was a happy return to Cincinnati for Kyrgios, who had a spectacular meltdown at the tournament in 2019 and was fined a record $113,000.

“I’ve played some amazing tennis here and had some crazy outbursts,” he said. “It’s a flip of the coin as to which Kyrgios shows up here.”

In another match, third-seeded Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz beat American Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-2 in his first match of the tournament to move on.

Jannik Sinner, the 10th seed from Italy, beat Thanasi Kokkinakis in three sets, 6-7 (9/11), 6-4, and 7-6 (8/6), on his 21st birthday.

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