Emma Raducanu faces Serena Williams for the first time at the Cincinnati tournament; Rafael Nadal returns from injury | Tennis News


Emma Raducanu will face Serena Williams for the first time in her career after the pair were drawn to face each other at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Williams, who turns 41 next month, indicated this week that she plans to retire soon, saying she is “getting away from tennis, into other things that are important to me”.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion’s exit from the sport could come after the next US Open – where Britain’s Raducanu will defend the title she won as an 18-year-old a year ago.

Emma Raducanu suffered a first-round exit at the hands of Camila Giorgi in Toronto

Before that, the pair will meet for the first time in Cincinnati on Monday, with the winner of the first-round clash facing either Victoria Azarenka or Kaia Kanepi in the next round.

Williams – also a teenager when she won the first of her six titles at Flushing Meadows in 1999 – was in tears after her second-round exit against Belinda Bencic at the National Bank Open in Toronto on Wednesday, saying: “I’m awful farewell.”

Raducanu exited in the first round of the tournament, losing 7-6, 6-2 to defending champion Camila Giorgi following her quarter-final loss to Liudmila Samsonova at the Citi Open in Washington.

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Judy Murray says Serena Williams changed the face of women’s tennis and her legacy will continue to inspire players after her retirement

Meanwhile, in the men’s tournament in Cincinnati, Rafael Nadal returns to the court for the first time since suffering an abdominal tear that forced him to withdraw from the Wimbledon semi-finals in July.

The Spaniard has been granted a bye to the second round, while British number one Cameron Norrie – seeded ninth – will face Dane Holger Rune in the first round.

Dan Evans takes on Serbian Filip Krajinovic at the same stage, while Andy Murray must defeat Japan’s Taro Daniel in the qualifying round to reach the main draw.

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