Serena Williams plays Monday night at the Western & Southern Open in what should be one of her last matches.
That’s a big deal, even for a US Open focus used to hosting the best players in the world.
“Serena Williams is a global icon whose impact certainly transcends tennis,” said tournament CEO Katie Haas. “We are fortunate to have seen her lift our trophy twice and to welcome her here for one of the final events of her incredible career.”
Williams, 40, is preparing to quit tennis, saying she wants to have another child and pursue business interests. The 23-time Grand Slam champion didn’t say what her final event would be, but gave the impression that her final farewell will be at the US Open, which kicks off August 29 in New York.
Next up for Williams is Monday night’s first-round match against 19-year-old defending US Open champion Emma Raducanu.
If Williams advances, she could face 2016 Cincinnati champion Karolina Pliskova in the second round. There’s also a potential quarter-final clash with her sister, Venus.
Serena Williams lost 6-2, 6-4 to Belinda Bencic on Wednesday night in Toronto in her first match since charting her future plans.
“She had a huge impact on the sport,” said Cincinnati native Caty McNally, who is making her fourth appearance in her hometown tournament. “As a child, I always watched her on TV. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to play her at the US Open a few years ago. I think it’s important that she moves on. thing and spending time with his family and exploring other things in life.
Novak Djokovic withdrew from the hard-court tournament on Friday because he has not received any COVID-19 vaccine and is therefore not allowed to travel to the United States. But Cincinnati’s shutdown still includes many of the best players in the world.
A large crowd watched Raducanu and Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina train together on Saturday afternoon. Rybakina takes on Egypt’s Mayar Sherif in the first round.
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