Tennis news 2022 Serena Williams

Serena Williams sank to a four-year low in straight sets at the hands of Emma Raducanu in Cincinnati.

In what commentators touted as his best performance since winning the US Open last year, Raducanu committed just one unforced error and beat Williams five times going to a 6-4 thrashing. 6-0.

In just his third match in the last 13 months, Williams committed four double faults, 19 unforced errors and won just 67% of his first serves.

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It was the first time Williams had dropped a set since San Jose in 2018, where she suffered the biggest loss of her career – a 6-1 6-0 defeat at the hands of Johanna Konta.

Raducanu beat Williams on his first two service games of the game to take an early 3-0 lead, before Williams recovered one in the middle of the set.

Raducanu was on course to recover that break at 0-30, before Williams – in his first game since announcing his retirement from the sport – used the holeshot. Raducanu sent one of the five aces to close the first set.

Emma Raducanu returns to Serena Williams during their match at the Cincinnati Masters. Photo: Matthew Stockman (Getty)

The second series was entirely one-sided. Williams never peeked as Raducanu played out of his skin to win the set to love.

After the match, Williams gave a brief wave to the crowd before immediately leaving the field.

It was the first time the duo faced each other.

In his post-match interview, Raducanu said it was an “honor” to share the pitch with an idol.

“I’m so grateful to have been able to play with her and cross paths (our careers) for three years,” she said.

“Everything she has accomplished is so inspiring and yes, it was a real honor to share the pitch with her.”

The crowd, which included Naomi Osaka, who had previously suffered her own straight-set loss to China’s Zhang Shuai, was strongly pro-Serena – something the 19-year-old hadn’t missed.

Serena Williams serves to Emma Raducanu during their match at the Cincinnati Masters. Photo: Jeff Dean (AP)

“When you guys were cheering him on, I was like ‘you know what, all for this,'” she said with a laugh.

“I was nervous from the first to the last point because I know what a champion she is – she can come back from any situation, so I really had to stay focused.

“I’m so glad I managed to keep my cool.”

Raducanu will next face Victoria Azarenka, who beat Estonian Kaia Kanepi 6-3 4-6 6-3.

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