'Terrible at goodbyes' - Tearful Serena begins farewell tour with Toronto loss
Serena Williams admitted to being "terrible at goodbyes" as the American legend suffered her first defeat since announcing her imminent retirement from tennis. The 6-2 6-4 second-round loss to Belinda Bencic at the National Bank Open came just a day after the 23-time Grand-Slam champion revealed in a Vogue article she was "evolving away from tennis" and planned to retire from the sport she has dominated for over two decades.
Emma Raducanu's scintillating early run at the Western & Southern Open has ended in a 7-5 6-4 defeat to Jessica Pegula.
The British 10th seed opened her campaign in Cincinnati with impressive victories over WTA Tour veterans Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka. © Associated Press Emma Raducanu is out of the Western
But the top-ranked American proved too tough a mountain for the defending US Open champion to climb.
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Pegula took control early in the match, dictating ground play and converting two break-point opportunities to clinch the first set.
Tennis-ATP-Montreal: Hurkacz does not stop
© Panoramic HURKACZ13082022-Orange HUBERT HURKACZ is the first ticket for the Masters 1000 final in Montreal. The Polish foiled Casper Ruud, the finalist of Roland-Garros, when he had lost the first set (5-7, 6-3, 6-2). If Simona Halep is the great sun of the week in Toronto, Hubert Hurkacz dazzles Montreal.
Another break early in the second then gave the world number eight the momentum she needed to secure her place in the quarter-finals.
Pegula's technical prowess disrupted the clinical tennis Raducanu exhibited in her earlier matches, with the 19-year-old giving up 21 unforced errors in the loss.
Raducanu, though, is still relieved she is swinging freely again and playing the same brand of attacking tennis that took her to a maiden Grand Slam title last year, as she looks ahead to her US Open defence.
"This week was a great step for me," she said. "In the past year it's probably like the first tournament or like one of the few tournaments that I have actually started going for my shots more.
"This week I kind of just was like, 'look, I'm just going to try, I don't care if I make errors, like it's fine, but I'm just going to overhit if anything'. I'm pretty proud of how I did this week, and I think it's a great step to move forward."
Serena Williams' Cincinnati opener vs. Emma Raducanu pushed to Tuesday
The 23-time Grand Slam champion has not said what her last event will be, but has made it sound as if her final farewell will come at the US Open, which begins August 29 in New York. Williams lost 6-2, 6-4 to Belinda Bencic on Wednesday night in Toronto in her first match since she elaborated on her future plans.As Williams prepares to call time on her career, she will face the precocious Raducanu in Cincinnati. Gallery: Elena Rybakina dismantled former champ Simona Halep to reach Wimbledon's final. Here's everything you need to know about the rising Kazakh star.
Raducanu said she was tired of just trying to play defensively and realised she would not succeed at the top level by just pushing the ball around. The US Open begins on August 29.
"It is definitely relieving, because I feel like I'm swinging with the same sort of freedom as I probably had, more similar to last year," she added.
"So it feels really good. I think that I can really take it as a positive week, and I actually feel like I'm heading in a good direction again."
Earlier in the day, world No 1 Iga Swiatek was knocked out by Madison Keys, while Wimbledon runner-up and fifth seed Ons Jabeur also made her exit.
Norrie advances to quarters by crushing Shelton
Cameron Norrie cruised into the quarter-finals in Cincinnati with a dominant win over American wild card Ben Shelton.
The British ninth seed was untouchable in the first set, dominating his 229th ranked opponent's service game to take the set to love.
Raducanu calls Serena 'the greatest of all time' after beating her
It was a merciless display on the court but away from it, a humble Emma Raducanu paid tribute to 'the greatest of all time' Serena Williams after blowing her away at the Cincinnati Masters. Raducanu needed an hour and five minutes to beat Williams on Tuesday night in Ohio, the first time the two have met. Raducanu hit 14 winners and made just one unforced error as she beat Williams 6-4, 6-0. 'I didn't actually know that stat,' Raducanu said afterwards. 'I think I played a really good match but to play Serena here, I was nervous form the first point to the last.
Although Shelton was able to hold serve twice in the second set, he was ultimately no match for Norrie's all-around game.
Norrie wrapped up the 6-0 6-2 result in just 58 minutes to book a clash with Spain's Carlos Alcaraz.
The 19-year-old eclipsed Marin Cilic in three sets in the third round and could overtake Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev for the second spot in the ATP rankings with victory in Cincinnati.
World No 1 Daniil Medvedev wore down Denis Shapovalov 7-5 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals ahead of his US Open title defence.
The Russian top seed was joined in the last eight by Stefanos Tsitsipas, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Borna Coric but his compatriot Andrey Rublev, the sixth seed, was ousted by Taylor Fritz.
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Raducanu is still looking forward to her US Open title defence after finding form
Cameron Norrie has advanced to the quarter-finals in Cincinnati
Pegula beat Raducanu in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4
Raducanu to meet Cornet in US Open first round; Williams takes on Kovinic .
Emma Raducanu will start the defence of her US Open title against Alize Cornet, with Serena Williams taking on Danka Kovinic in the first round. Raducanu and the world No 27 Cornet have never met before on the women's Tour. Cornet will be playing in her 63rd consecutive Slam, which will break the record for most consecutive main draw appearances at Grand Slams by a WTA player. © Associated Press Emma Raducanu is the defending champion after her remarkable triumph last year Like Raducanu, Williams has also never faced her first-round opponent.