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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday August 12, 2022

Serena Williams’ farewell tour is already pulling at the heartstrings of tennis fans this summer, and it will tick up another level next week in Cincinnati, where the legendary 23-time Grand Slam champion has been slated to face Emma Raducanu in the first-round.

See the full Western and Southern Open draw here:


The draw was released Friday in Cincinnati, and two-time champ Williams, who already had five Grand Slam titles to her name when Raducanu was born in 2002, will enter the draw hoping to produce one final flourish in her groundbreaking tennis career.

Williams, 23-6 lifetime in Cincinnati, last won the title at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in 2013 and 2014. Raducanu, meanwhile, is making her debut at the event.

It promises to be a memorable experience, as Williams nears the end of her one-of-a-kind career. The American picked up her first win of the season in Toronto last week, and played competitive tennis against Belinda Bencic before falling in straight sets.

After the match she was choking back the tears during a highly emotional post-match interview on court as the crowds followed suit, mixing their cries of sadness with those of joy, as tribute.

Back on home soil, the energy will undoubtedly be more intense, as fans fill the stands in the hope that the American can produce the magic that she has been known for over the last two decades.

Seven-time Slam champion Venus Williams is also in the draw – the 42-year-old will face No 14-seeded Kadrolina Pliskova in the opening round, and has made no retirement announcements as of yet.

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