In light of Serena Williams and Emma Raducanu's 2022 Cincinnati Open 1R clash, a look at the 23-time Grand Slam winner's accomplishments before the Brit was born

Emma Raducanu (L) and Serena Williams (R)
Emma Raducanu (L) and Serena Williams (R)
Parag Jain

Serena Williams is all set to compete at the Western & Southern Open, also known as the Cincinnati Masters, next week in what should be the second-last tournament of her career.

In her opening match, Williams takes on 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu, who, like every other player on the tour, has looked up to Williams in her formative years.

It's always a dream for budding players to share the court with the stars they grew up watching. On the men's circuit, youngsters look forward to playing against the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Among the women, it's the Williams sisters, particularly Serena.

Excellent Farewell Tour material: Serena Williams vs Emma Raducanu, scheduled for Monday night in CincinnatiFirst meeting and quite likely last meeting

Williams has been an active player for almost 27 years, having made her debut on October 28, 1995, while Raducanu was born on November 13, 2002. By the time she was born, Williams had established herself as a top player and a force to be reckoned with. A few months before the Brit's birth, the American became World No. 1 for the first time in her career.

By November 13, 2002, the stalwart had already lifted 31 titles in total, with 19 of these in the singles and 12 in the doubles. Her singles titles included four Grand Slams, five WTA 1000 titles, and a Year-End Championship.

Apart from these, there was a plethora of titles to boast in the doubles category, like an Olympic gold medal and seven Majors.

When Emma Raducanu was born (November 2002), Serena Williams was 21 years & 2 months old.Serena had already won 31 Titles19 Singles: 4 Majors, 1 YEC, 1 GS Cup, 5 1000s, 8 500s10 Doubles: 5 Majors, 1 Olympic Gold, 1 1000, 2 500s, 1 2502 Mixed Doubles: 1998 Wimbledon + USO…

Facing Williams on Monday will be a humungous test for Raducanu, who got the tennis world's attention by winning the US Open as a qualifier last year. Her biggest challenge will be to not get overwhelmed by the mere presence of her childhood hero on the other side of the net.

"I was two months pregnant when I won the Australian Open in 2017" - Serena Williams

Serena Williams after her Canadian Open exit.
Serena Williams after her Canadian Open exit.

On Tuesday, Serena Williams made public her decision to call it a day after the US Open. The star wrote a heartfelt note for Vogue magazine and touched upon all the important people and factors that shaped her career.

The legend stated that choosing one between tennis and family was not easy.

"I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair," Williams said. "If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a woman, and I loved every second of being pregnant with Olympia. A lot of people don’t realize that I was two months pregnant when I won the Australian Open in 2017."
In Vogue’s September issue, @serenawilliams prepares to say farewell to tennis on her own terms and in her own words. “It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine,” she says. “I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next”
"I have never liked the word retirement. Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me," Williams added.

Edited by Anirudh


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