Emma Raducanu praised for classy act after win over Serena Williams

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Emma Raducanu, pictured here paying tribute to Serena Williams after their match in Cincinnati.
Emma Raducanu paid tribute to Serena Williams after their match in Cincinnati. Image: WTA

Emma Raducanu has been praised for her classy response after ending Serena Williams' campaign at the Cincinnati Masters in the first round.

The reigning US Open champion was a class above the 23-time grand slam winner on Tuesday, winning 6-4 6-0 to advance to the second round.

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The match was Williams' last in Cincinnati in her storied career after she announced last week that she'll step away from professional tennis after the US Open.

Williams now only has one tournament remaining after her exit in Cincinnati, with the US Open starting on August 29.

Raducanu was all class after beating Williams, joining the crowd in giving the 40-year-old a standing ovation as she left the court.

The 19-year-old also paid tribute to Williams in her post-match interview.

"I think we all need to just honour Serena for her amazing career," Raducanu said.

"I'm so grateful for the experience to be able to play against her and for our careers to have crossed over.

"Everything she has achieved is so inspirational and it was a true honour to share the court with her."

Williams was already World No.1 when Raducanu was born in November of 1992.

Among the fans in attendance for Williams' match on Tuesday were Naomi Osaka and Grigor Dimitrov.

Osaka was sitting at the back of the grandstand taking in the action, while Dimitrov was sitting with some of Williams' family - including daughter Alexis Olympia.

Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams out in Cincinnati

Osaka's US Open preparations had earlier suffered another setback after the former World No.1 was swept aside 6-4 7-5 by China's Zhang Shuai.

It was only her third tournament back from an Achilles injury and it has been a stuttering return to action for the two-time US Open champion.

Osaka retired with lower back pain in the opening round in Toronto last week before her first-round loss onb Tuesday.

For Zhang, doubles champion in Cincinnati last year, it was her first singles win at the event since 2014.

"Naomi she is amazing but I don't know she is maybe not really feeling good today," said Zhang.

"But for sure today - not her best today."

Serena Williams, pictured here leaving the court after losing to Emma Raducanu at the Cincinnati Masters.
Serena Williams leaves the court after losing to Emma Raducanu at the Cincinnati Masters. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Zhang next meets Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova, who was a 6-4 7-5 winner over 13th-seeded Canadian Leylah Fernandez - the losing finalist at last year's US Open.

The tournament lost another big name when Coco Gauff retired from her match against qualifier Marie Bouzkova with a left ankle injury.

Gauff had her ankle taped after the first set and dropped out after the first game of the second set.

Karolina Pliskova, the No.14 seed and 2016 Cincinnati champion, eased into the second round with a 7-5 6-1 victory over Venus Williams.

The two former World No.1s were facing off for the first time in five years and Pliskova scored her third win in four attempts against Williams.

Romania's Sorana Cirstea knocked out 12th seed Belinda Bencic 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 in a contest which lasted two hours and 38 minutes.

And Belgium's Elise Mertens brushed aside Ukraine's Anhelina Kalinina 6-1 6-1 to set up a second-round date with Pliskova.

with agencies

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