Serena Williams CRASH OUT OF Cincinnati Masters after 6-4, 6-0 loss to Emma Raducanu

Serena Williams CRASH OUT OF Cincinnati Masters after 6-4, 6-0 loss to Emma Raducanu

Serena Williams CRASH OUT OF Cincinnati Masters after 6-4, 6-0 loss to Emma Raducanu

Serena Williams knew defeat was a possibility against Emma Raducanu at the Cincinnati Open. But she never expected it to be so brutal.

The 19-year-old US Open champion swept the retiring Williams in an hour and five minutes to win 6-4 and 6-0 in a merciless and controlled game. It was one of Raducanu’s best performances since winning the US Open last year.

There were no parting words or tears on the field in Williams’ wake, unlike last week in Toronto when she lost to Belinda Bencic.

She promptly packed her things and walked out of the track waving to the crowd who were still cheering her on as if she had won, refusing an interview in court.

Williams struggled to find her rhythm – her backhand often let her down and gave easy points to Raducanu. Her serve wasn’t great either, and she once roared in the first set when another double-fault gave Raducanu a break point.

But there were still flashes of her greatness, the fighting spirit and that sheer, brutal forehand power that propelled her to 23 fantastic Grand Slam victories.

Serena Williams CRASH OUT OF Cincinnati Masters after 6-4, 6-0 loss to Emma Raducanu

It was a quick goodbye to Serena Williams in Cincinnati after Emma Raducanu beat her

Raducanu applauded her opponent after impressive win in Cincinnati

Raducanu applauded her opponent after impressive win in Cincinnati

The 40-year-old quickly left court after a ruthless Raducanu defeated her

The 40-year-old quickly left court after a ruthless Raducanu defeated her

Raducanu produced one of her best showings of the year beating Williams 6-4, 6-0

Raducanu produced one of her best showings of the year beating Williams 6-4, 6-0

The crowd was right behind Williams, but they couldn't cheer her to victory on Tuesday

The crowd was right behind Williams, but they couldn’t cheer her to victory on Tuesday

Raducanu paid tribute to Williams after the game and said it was an honor to play against her

Raducanu paid tribute to Williams after the game and said it was an honor to play against her

Trailing 4-1 in the first set and trailing 40-15, Williams dominated the next few points on her forehand alone while driving the crowds mad as she won the match.

But it was here that Raducanu responded so well. Her shot selection was smart, her own forehand was good too, and she responded to being broken—and Williams then with a powerful serve—by holding on to love.

Raducanu never allowed Williams or the crowd to build momentum throughout the match. She hit 14 winners with just one unforced error.

“I didn’t actually know that stat. I think we should all honor Serena and her great career,” Raducanu said afterwards. “I am so grateful for the experience of playing her and for crossing our careers. It was an honor to share the court with her.

“The atmosphere tonight was great. Even when you (the audience) were cheering for her, I was all for it!

“From the first to the last point I was nervous, she can come back all kinds of things and I was happy that I could keep my composure.”

But whether Raducanu really felt nervous, no one could tell. This was a laser-focused performance by the 19-year-old who looked into the zone from the moment she crossed Williams in the hallway outside the locker rooms.

Williams especially seemed to struggle with her backhand and her serve on Tuesday

Williams especially seemed to struggle with her backhand and her serve on Tuesday

Williams' best shots came on her forehand - she still showed flashes of her greatness

Williams’ best shots came on her forehand – she still showed flashes of her greatness

Cincinnati tennis fans flocked to cheer on Williams against Raducanu

Cincinnati tennis fans flocked to cheer on Williams against Raducanu

But the 19-year-old was in excellent shape as he geared up for her US Open defense

But the 19-year-old was in excellent shape as he geared up for her US Open defense

Raducanu paid tribute to Williams after the game and said it was an honor to play against her

Raducanu paid tribute to Williams after the game and said it was an honor to play against her

For the UK based tennis fans, think of this as Wimbledon in reverse. The crowd was absolutely united behind Serena, as Raducanu said – with every point she won, she cheered as if it had won her a game or a set.

“Serena the GOAT” and “Long live the Queen” read the signs waved as Williams was announced and walked onto the track.

Maybe that suited Raducanu. There haven’t been many times since she won the US Open where she hasn’t been the center of attention, but here, against Williams, she was just that. It’s a confidence boosting victory for her as she gears up to defend her title.

So it’s one last dance for Williams, at the US Open, though fans insist that she hasn’t explicitly said Flushing Meadows will be her last tournament. Williams is 0-2 since announcing her retirement.

“Tonight, in my view, was a game to play the best of all time – who knows how many more chances we’ll have to share the field,” added Raducanu. “I think it’s amazing how our careers overlap and I thought to myself, ‘This is a complete gift, you’re sharing the field with the best of all time. Make the most of it for the rest of your career’ I’ll remember playing Serena Williams.”

The next step for Raducanu is a match-up against another former world number 1 player, Belarusian Victoria Azarenka.

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