Emma Raducanu shared her excitement ahead of her first-round clash with tennis legend Serena Williams at the 2022 Cincinnati Open.
Williams, who will compete in the WTA 1000 tournament for the final time after recently announcing her retirement via a first-person essay in Vogue Magazine, will nevertheless be the center of attention.
The match, which promises to be an epic encounter, will be a meeting of champions from the current and former generation of women's tennis. Raducanu, who is almost 21 years younger than the American, won the US Open last year as a qualifier.
Interestingly, Williams was the top-ranked player in the world in November 2002, the month Raducanu was born.
During a press conference in Cincinnati, Emma Raducanu said she feels privileged to be playing against "the best tennis player of all time," and that it will be a fantastic experience that she will remember for the rest of her life.
"For our careers to have crossed like this I'm fortunate to be able to play her," Raducanu said. "Whatever happens, it'll be an incredible experience that I'll surely remember for the rest of my life."
"It will be an exciting match. I'm looking forward to it. It will be an amazing opportunity to play the best tennis player of all time. This will probably be my last opportunity," she added.
Also Checkout: Cincinnati Open 2021 Results
The 19-year-old also revealed that she didn't "mourn" her loss to Camila Giorgi in the Canadian Open first round, but instead went straight back to the practice courts.
"After losing, I got straight back out on court. I didn't take any time to reflect or mourn," Raducanu said.
"I don't think she should be looking for a different way right now" - Mark Petchey on Emma Raducanu
In a recent interview with Tennis Channel, Mark Petchey, a former British tennis pro and former coach of Emma Raducanu, advised the Brit to avoid changing her playing style in her match-up with Serena Williams.
"Emma's way of winning a Grand Slam was one way and I don't think she should be looking for a different way right now," Petchey said.
As per Petchey, Williams was excellent in her match against Belinda Bencic in Canada even if she ultimately lost. He continued by saying that the American will be a very challenging player to beat if she is given more time on the ball.
"I thought that Serena played great against [Belinda] Bencic, it was just a bad match-up," Petchey said, adding, "But at the end of the day I think if she gets time on the ball, she's going to be a very difficult player to dislodge from the draw."