Emma Raducanu says it was “a true honour” to share the court with Serena Williams as she thrashed the American 6-4 6-0 in the first round of the Cincinnati Masters.
Raducanu largely dominated a match which was given a big build-up after Williams announced she was “evolving away” from tennis, hinting at retirement following the US Open.
With Raducanu defending the US Open in less than a fortnight, it was a boost for the teenager to get a win under her belt.
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"I'm so grateful for the experience to have been able to play Serena and for our careers to have crossed over," said Raducanu.
"Everything she has achieved has been so inspirational and it was a true honour to share the court with her.
"I was nervous from the first point to the last, Serena is dangerous and can come back from any situation. I had to stay focused. I'm so pleased I managed to keep my composure.
"Each of those wins kind of build confidence regardless of the level you're playing, every single win counts. But of course this one more so, because you're playing like the greatest.
"But I'm not trying to get too high or too low right now."
Raducanu is in the early stages of her career compared to Williams, whose playing career may be about to come to an end after turning professional in 1995.
Although Raducanu says she had never had a conversation with Williams prior to the match, the Briton admits she enjoys the “great exposure” from playing the big names.
"The chances to play her may be one of the last opportunities I get to play her," added Raducanu. "You have to cherish the moment, and you're going to have this memory for the rest of your career.
"Playing Serena and managing to win, I'm obviously really proud of myself, and it does give me confidence [ahead of the US Open].
"Each of those wins kind of build confidence regardless of the level you're playing, every single win counts. But of course this one more so, because you're playing like the greatest. But I'm not trying to get too high or too low right now."

Azarenka next for Raducanu

Raducanu will play another multiple Grand Slam champion, Victoria Azarenka, in the second round on Wednesday where she will hope to continue her great form from the opening match.
The US Open champion failed to get past the first round last week at the Canadian Open, although she reached the quarter-finals a week before at the Citi Open.
Fitness was an issue earlier in the year for Raducanu, so a win against Azarenka will be another confidence boost ahead of Flushing Meadows.
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