Emma Raducanu has explained why she “didn’t want to make a scene” in her victory over Serena Williams on Tuesday. The 19-year-old earned one of the biggest scalps of her career as she bagelled the 23-time Major champion for a 6-4 6-0 win in just 65 minutes but was noticeably subdued in celebration despite finding arguably her best level since winning the US Open.
Raducanu drew Williams in the most anticipated first-round match of this week’s Western & Southern Open, with the former world No 1 having recently announced her upcoming retirement. And it was a statement performance from the US Open champion who dropped just four games against the two-time former title winner in Cincinnati.
Despite earning one of the biggest victories of her career, the world No 13 was muted in her celebrations both during the match and after closing out the win, and she has now explained why she opted to keep things low-key. “I think that playing Serena, you don’t like – to be honest, I was just like in awe and you don’t want to -” she started, initially struggling to clarify her lack of celebration.
“I think I said, like, one ‘Come on’ in the match, and I was just staying to myself, because I respect her so much as an athlete, as a tennis player, as a person.” The Cincinnati debutant also explained that she thought it was Williams who deserved the celebrations as she was happy to join the crowd in honouring the 40-year-old’s legendary career.