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Serena Williams lost the second US Open tuneup match she contested after hinting that she might retire from tennis after the final Grand Slam of the year.
Williams fell to defending US Open champion Emma Raducanu in straight sets 6-4, 6-0 at the Western & Southern Open in Ohio on Tuesday night.
The event was the second tuneup match ahead of the Grand Slam tournament at Flushing Meadows, NY Williams lost in straight sets to Belinda Bencic in Toronto last week. Before her essay was published in Vogue magazine, she beat Nuria Parizas-Diaz for her first win since the 2021 French Open.
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Raduka came into the tournament ranked 13th in the world. She had not won a match since the City Open in Washington against Camila Osorio. She lost in straight sets to Camila Giorgi at the National Bank Open in Toronto.
Williams, 40, is set to walk away from the sport with 23 Grand Slam titles – the most in the Open era and second all-time behind Margaret Court. She will get another chance to even the court record. He lost in the first round of Wimbledon in the summer.
Williams admitted in the essay that there was no “joy” in making the announcement, but he was ready for “what’s next.”
“I have no joy in this matter,” he wrote. “I know it’s not a common thing to say, but I’m in so much pain, I wish it could be easier for me, but it’s not. I’m torn: I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next.”
Serena Williams lost her first match after announcing her retirement
Tennis legend John McEnroe told Fox News Digital over the weekend that Williams’ career is on par with some of the all-time greats.
“Serena is to me the greatest female athlete in sports history. I don’t care who you come up with. She’s one of the greatest athletes — male or female. She’s put herself up there with the likes of Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, you name it. … She’s 40 years old. She’s Has done everything in tennis. She has nothing to prove,” McEnroe said.
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“She seems like she wants to have more kids, which is great. She has a lot of other interests. People want to be a part of what she’s doing. She’s doing really well. We were expecting it to happen. She wants to win two more, one or two, break the all-time record, win a couple after having a daughter. . . It doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen, but that doesn’t take away from me. She’s an all-time great.”
The US Open is scheduled for August 29 and ends on September 11.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.