2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu and this year's Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina have teamed up for the Cincinnati doubles event. Raducanu, 19, and 23-year-old Rybakina are set to debut as a pair this week at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
In their Cincinnati doubles opener, Raducanu and Rybakina will be clashing Lucie Hradecka and Sania Mirza. Raducanu and Rybakina didn't really have much luck with the draw since both Hradecka and Mirza are Grand Slam champions in doubles.
Also, Mirza has been ranked at the top spot in doubles, while Hradecka was once the fourth-ranked doubles player in the world But Raducanu and Rybakina will certainly try to do well in their doubles team and won't go down without a fight.
Raducanu draws tough openers in Cincinnati
On Friday, Raducanu learned that her Cincinnati first round opponents in singles would be none other than 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams. Last week in Toronto, Raducanu was in the same WTA draw with the Williams sisters for the first time in her career.
“It’s amazing being in the same draw as them. What they’ve done and how long they’ve been playing for at such a high level and keep pushing back. They don’t need to play tennis and they love it," Raducanu said.
Now, Raducanu has a chance to clash Williams, who is set to retire after the US Open. The Raducanu and Williams match is drawing lots of attention, even from fellow players. Jessica Pegula is one of the players that is looking forward to seeing Raducanu and Williams go up against each other.
“Serena's kind of on her way out. And Emma's already won a Slam, but still on her way in. And it will just be kind of cool to see the two of them out there. I'm sure it's kind of cool for her, at least she gets to play Serena.
Serena isn't going to play after the US Open so that will be exciting,” Pegula said. It remains to be seen how much can Raducanu do in Cincinnati.