The first-round draw for the Cincinnati Masters has thrown up a box office clash between reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu and retiring legend Serena Williams.
Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam winner, said in an interview earlier this week that she was "evolving away from tennis", with the upcoming US Open looking likely to be her final tournament appearance.
The 40-year-old is the most successful tennis player in the Open Era and has spent 319 weeks as the world No. 1.
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She will face Great Britain’s teenage star Raducanu, 19 years her junior, for the first time at the Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati, the last stop before the final Grand Slam of the season at Flushing Meadows.
Williams and Raducanu are scheduled to face off on Monday night, after both suffered early exits at the Toronto Open this week.
The American earned her first win of the season in Canada, beating Spain’s Nuris Parrizas Diaz 6-3 6-4, but went out in straight sets to Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in the second round.
"As I said in the article, I'm terrible at goodbyes. But, goodbye Toronto,” a tearful Williams said after the defeat.

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Raducanu’s disappointing season continued in Canada with a first-round 6-7 2-6 exit to defending champion Camila Giorgi.
The 19-year-old earned a stunning US Open victory last year, becoming the first female British Grand Slam winner since Virginia Wade in 1977 after battling through qualifying to win it without dropping a set in just the second major appearance of her career.
However, she has struggled for fitness and form in 2022, failing to make it past the second round at the Australian Open, French Open or Wimbledon and getting no further than the third round in five WTA 1000 appearances.
Asked about Williams following her defeat in Canada, Raducanu said: "She definitely changed the game.
"There’s not really been someone who’s dominated like her in the women’s game so she really did change a lot in that respect.”
The winner of Raducanu’s clash with Williams will face Victoria Azarenka or Kaia Kanepi in the second round.
Elsewhere in the draw, world No.1 Iga Swiatek and the rest of the top eight seeds have received byes to the second round.
The Pole will face either Sloane Stephens or Alize Cornet in the second round and will be looking to bounce back after she suffered a shock exit to Haddad Maia in a marathon match in Toronto.
Wild card entry Venus Williams was drawn against 14th seed Karolina Pliskova, while former US Open champions Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andreescu open up against China’s Zhang Shuai and Italy’s Giorgi respectively.
The action in Cincinnati begins on Monday, 15 August and concludes on 21 August. The US Open in New York takes place from 29 August-11 September.
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