Emma Raducanu has called the chance to play Serena Williams before the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion retires a “great gift”.
Raducanu meets Williams in the first round of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati in what will likely be the American’s last tournament before the US Open, where the Brit is the defending champion.
Williams has indicated she will retire after competing at Flushing Meadows. The 40-year-old said she has “moved away from tennis into other things that are important to me”.
“I think it’s going to be an exciting game,” Raducanu told reporters. “I’m looking forward to it. It’s a fantastic opportunity to play against what is probably the best tennis player of all time. It will probably be my last opportunity to ever play it.
“I think that after our careers have overlapped, I’m really happy that I get to play her. Whatever happens I think it’s going to be a really good experience for me and something to remember for the rest of her life.
“Expectations, I don’t really know, I don’t really care. I just want to get out there and firstly enjoy the match that I’m going to play whenever I play it.
“It’s a great gift to play the best on their way out of the sport. I’m just looking forward to that.”
Raducanu said her strongest memory of Williams was being brought to Wimbledon by her first coach as a seven-year-old.
“We kind of got on center court and watched her crush someone (6-1, 6-1),” the 19-year-old said.
“It was just cool to see them live. That day with my first trainer I was so excited for the day. I think that was a very special time in my life, a memory I will always have.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/emma-raducanu-cincinnati-vogue-magazine-american-wimbledon-b2144993.html It’s a great gift – Emma Raducanu is excited about the chance to play Serena Williams