Serena Williams appeared to decline an on-court interview as the American great suffered another bruising defeat ahead of her impending retirement, losing in straight sets to British teenage star Emma Raducanu in their first round tie against the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday .
Raducanu wasted no time seeing the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion, riding away with a 6-4 6-0 victory in 65 minutes against Williams, who revealed last week that the next US Open would be his swan song.
But unlike her previous appearance at the Canadian Open, where she gave an emotional interview in front of fans following a second-round loss to Belinda Bencic, Williams was described as avoiding attempts to interview her on the court. Ohio.
“Serena 0-2 since announcing her retirement. The emcee tried to stop her for an on-court interview for the crowd, but Serena walked by,” wrote tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg.
Instead, the 40-year-old icon praised Raducanu at the net and walked straight off the pitch with his bags as he waved to the cheering crowd – leaving the Briton to express his thoughts on facing an all-time great .
“I think we all have to honor Serena and her amazing career,” said Raducanu.
“I’m so grateful to have been able to play her and that our careers have crossed and everything she has achieved is so inspiring. It was a real honor to share the court with her.
Currently coached by Russia’s Dmitry Tursunov, Raducanu is heading to a second-round meeting in Cincinnati with Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.
The 19-year-old British star is aiming to build momentum ahead of her US Open title defense at the end of August, having stunned the world with her triumph in New York last year after coming out of qualifying.
Unless she finds some old magic, Williams will have to consider a soft end to a career that has garnered 73 singles titles, four Olympic gold medals and a total of 319 weeks as world number one.
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