British teenager Emma Raducanu is going to give Serena Williams a run for her money when the two take on Center Court at the Western & Southern Open Tuesday night.
But what makes this blockbuster so iconic is the timing of the matchup. Raducanu, who won her first Grand Slam at the 2021 U.S. Open at the age of 18, will be facing her inspiration Serena, who is wrapping up her illustrious career after the U.S. Open, which she first won in 1999 at the age of 21.
This full circle moment symbolizes the legend passing the torch to Raducanu.
Tuesday’s matchup between unseeded Williams and No. 10 Raducanu, who have a 21-year age gap, will go way beyond skill on the tennis court. Rather, it'll be a match filled with emotion, nerves and adrenaline.
Ahead of the Williams-Raducanu faceoff, let’s break down the anticipated matchup in Cincinnati, Ohio:
What time is Serena Williams playing Emma Raducanu?
Serena Williams and Emma Raducanu are set to take Center Court at 7 p.m. ET.
Get today's sports news out of Los Angeles. Here's the latest on the Dodgers, Lakers, Angels, Kings, Galaxy, LAFC, USC, UCLA and more LA teams.
Where is Serena Williams playing against Emma Raducanu?
Williams and Raducanu are playing in the opening round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio.
How can I watch Serena Williams vs. Emma Raducanu?
The match between Williams and Raducanu can be streamed on Tennis Channel and can be accessed for free if you input your TV provider.
What are some of the key points for the matchup?
When you break it down, neither Serena Williams nor Emma Raducanu have been playing as well as we've all seen them play in previous years.
Since winning the 2021 U.S. Open, Raducanu has not had much success in Grand Slam events, losing the second round in the first three this year.
Williams has only played three singles matches in the past year, only winning one en route to Tuesday's match.
While neither competitor will be exuding confidence on center court, the player that comes out on top will be the one who can brush off early nerves.
Williams' nerves will come from lack of matches and playing an opponent half her age while Raducanu's jitters will come from getting only one opportunity in her career to face the legend.
As far as the actual tennis aspect, if Williams can serve as well as we know she can, making first serves with solid pace, she will start her service points with a leg up.
Williams has won 72.2% of her service games so far this year, and 27.3% of her return games, making holding serve a key.
Raducanu’s game plan is to go into the match looking to keep rallies as long as possible as she’s the competitor with better fitness, which will lead to unforced errors from Williams.
- High first serve percentage
- Keep rallies 2-4 shots
- Draw Raducanu forward as net play and movement forward is a weakness
- Drag rallies out and run every shot down
- Get service returns in play
- Emphasis on holding serve
- Mix pace with drop shots and slices
What did Emma Raducanu say about playing against Serena Williams?
Raducanu reflected on watching Williams dominate when she was seven years old.
“I remember the highlight of my year was when I was young, at a tennis club, my first coach would take me and one other boy to Wimbledon on my day out," Raducanu said. "We’d take the tram there. We got on to Centre Court somehow and we watched her annihilate someone one on one.
Raducanu called the opportunity to face off against the tennis legend "an amazing gift."
“I was excited, I was happy,” Raducanu said about how she felt after seeing the draw. “I think it’s an amazing gift to play the best tennis player of all time on her way out.
Williams, who said she would “evolve away” from tennis after the U.S. Open, has not specified if she would play any tournaments after the Grand Slam.
“It’s probably going to be my last opportunity to play her unless I draw her [at the U.S. Open] in New York. But I think whatever happens it’s just going to be a great memory that I’ll always have,” she added.
Who is expected to win between Serena Williams vs. Emma Raducanu?
World No. 13 Emma Raducanu is expected to beat No. 612 Serena Williams, according to PointsBet.
Tuesday’s clash will be the first time the two play against each other.
Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.