Emma Raducanu beats struggling Serena Williams to gain confidence

OWelcome to our live coverage of Emma Raducanu vs. Serena Williams in the first round of the Cincinnati Open.

This is the first meeting between the pair and is taking place in a tournament which is shaping up to be a key warm-up event for the US Open.

Raducanu’s form has been up and down since her stunning triumph at Flushing Meadows last year and she will be desperate for things to fall into place ahead of her title defence.

Since last year’s US Open, the Briton has played 16 tournaments and been knocked out 14 times by a lower-ranked player.

The Briton, who currently sits 10th in the world rankings, said the chance to play ‘the best of all time’ was ‘a great gift’.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting match,” Raducanu said in the build-up. “I’m looking forward to it. It’s an amazing opportunity to play probably the best female tennis player ever. It will probably be my last opportunity to play her.

“I think, for our careers to have crossed paths, I think I’m really lucky to be able to play her. Whatever happens, I think it’s going to be a really good experience for me and something that I will remember for the rest of his life.

“Expectations, I don’t really know, I don’t care. I just want to go out there and, one, enjoy the game that I’m going to play every time I play it.

“It’s a great gift to play the best when I leave the sport. So I’m looking forward to it.”

Raducanu’s historic victory at Flushing Meadows came 22 years after Williams won his first major singles title in New York, aged just 17.

The winner of the match between Raducanu and Williams will face Victoria Azarenka in the second round after the Belarusian defeated Kaia Kanepi in three sets.

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