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Raducanu recalls Williams experience that was ‘highlight of year’

Emma Raducanu has opened up on everything that was going through her mind during her convincing 6-4 6-0 victory over Serena Williams in Cincinnati. The 19-year-old needed just 65 minutes to see off the 23-time Grand Slam champion in what was one of Williams’ final tournaments following her recent retirement announcement.

 

 

Raducanu earned one of the biggest victories of her young career as she dropped just four games in a convincing win over former world No 1 Williams. The teenager is making her debut in Cincinnati and had the perfect start as she blew the two-time former champion off the court in what is Williams’ farewell tour ahead of her upcoming retirement.

 

 

The 10th seed was beaming after the win, and took the opportunity to honour the woman often seen as the GOAT of tennis before sharing her thoughts on the match. “Well I think we all need to just honour Serena and her amazing career,” she started. “I’m so grateful for the experience to be able to play her and for our careers to have crossed over, and everything she has achieved is so inspirational and it was a true honour to share the court with her.”

 

 

The US Open champion then explained the rollercoaster of emotions she was experiencing during the blockbuster Tuesday night clash, revealing that she enjoyed the crowd cheering against her. She continued: “I mean the atmosphere tonight was amazing and to play with Serena, I mean for sure even when you guys were cheering for her I was all for it.”

 

 

Raducanu also admitted to nerves in both her on-court interview and her post-match interview with Amazon Prime. “To be honest I was nervous from the first point to the last point,” she told the Centre Court crowd. “Because I know what a champion she is, she can come back from any situation and I’m just so pleased I could keep my composure.”

 

 

She then told Martina Navratilova that she had some concerns on match point, admitting: “I actually on the court in the match point was expecting for it be difficult.” The victory also served as the perfect boost ahead of Raducanu’s upcoming US Open title defence, and was just her 14th win to 17 losses since lifting the title in Flushing Meadows.

 

 

But the 19-year-old was logical about her difficult year since becoming the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam as she said: “I think that the whole year, it hasn’t been the best year of course but I from every experience have taken something.”

 

 

Reflecting on her sudden rise in Flushing Meadows last year, she continued: “I think that it was about to happen at some point, you don’t really just go from nothing and the 25s to winning a Slam without going through the stages and I think that I definitely went through that this year. And to have such great fortune that I had to win the US Open, I think that I had to have a tough year.”

 

 

Next up for Raducanu in her final tournament before heading back to New York for her US Open title defence is another former world No 1 and multi-Grand Slam champion in Victoria Azarenka. “Of course it’s difficult all round isn’t it, you’re playing one Slam champ to another,” she laughed.

 

 

“But yeah, it’s going to be a tricky match. I know she returns great, I also watched her growing up. I watched her at the US Open during the pandemic when I was doing my exams probably, thinking one day I’l be there.”

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