Cincinnati Open: Emma Raducanu draws curtains on Serena Williams' Cincy journey

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Cincinnati Open: Emma Raducanu draws curtains on Serena Williams' Cincy journey
Cincinnati Open: Emma Raducanu draws curtains on Serena Williams' Cincy journey

Venus Williams and Serena Williams’ journey at the 2022 Cincinnati Open came to an end in the first round after both lost their respective openers on Tuesday. Karolina Pliskova defeated the seven-time Grand Slam champion while Emma Raducanu bested the 23-time Slam titlist.

Pliskova, seeded 14th, came through 7-5, 6-1 against the 41-year-old in an hour and 40 minutes. Starting the match, Williams emerged as the dominant player and broke the Czech early on to go up 4-2 in the set. However, Pliskova rebounded and pegged back Williams to take the set.

The second set, as the score-line reads, was considerably more one-sided in the seeded player’s favour. Pliskova won 71% of her first-serve points to Williams’ 62% and 52% of her second-serve points. The 2016 Cincinnati winner also won 63% of points on return on Williams’ second serve.

Except for the one time she was broken in the match, Pliskova didn’t lose her serve. She also converted four break points on Williams’ serve for the match. In the second round, Pliskova will play Elise Mertens. The Belgian defeated Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina 6-1, 6-1 in just 55 minutes in their opening-round match.

Cincinnati Open: Emma Raducanu proves to be too good for Serena Williams

Meanwhile, in the much-awaited clash between Williams and the 10th-seeded Raducanu, the latter came through 6-4, 6-0 in 65 minutes. The Briton won 76% of her first-serve points to Williams’ 60%.

However, where the 2021 Flushing Meadows winner won 75% of her second-serve points, Williams mightily struggled, winning merely 12% of her second-serve points. Raducanu lost her serve once in the match but converted five of the nine break points she faced on the two-time former Cincinnati champion’s serve.

Williams had five more winners than Raducanu’s 14 but where the latter had just the one unforced error, the American had 18 more. In the second round, Raducanu will play Victoria Azarenka. Another former world no. 1, Naomi Osaka also crashed out in the round-of-64.

Shuai Zhang pipped Osaka 6-4, 7-5 in an hour and 15 minutes. Next up for Zhang’s, Ekaterina Alexandrova. Lastly, recent titlist in Toronto, the 15th-seeded Simona Halep prevailed in a three-set battle in her Cincinnati Open first round against Anastasia Potapova.

The Romanian needed two hours and 11 minutes to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. She’ll take on Veronika Kudermetova next. Photo Credit: Emma Raducanu Twitter

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