Serena Williams crashed out of the Cincinnati Masters after losing 6-4, 6-0 to Emma Raduganu.

Serena Williams knew defeat against Emma Raduganu at the Cincinnati Open was possible. But she never expected it to be so cruel.

The 19-year-old US Open champion brushed aside the retiring Williams in one hour and five minutes, winning 6-4 6-0 in a ruthless and composed display. It was one of Raducanu’s best performances since winning the US Open last year.

There were no goodbyes or tears on the court from Williams when she lost to Belinda Bencic in Toronto last week.

She immediately gathered her belongings, declined an in-court interview, and walked out of court with a wave to the crowd, who were still cheering her on as if she had won.

Williams struggled to find her rhythm – her backhand often let her down and gave Raducanu easy points. His serve wasn’t great either and roared in anger at one point in the first set, when another double fault gave Raducanu a break point.

But there were still flashes of her greatness, her fighting spirit and that sheer, brutal forehand power that propelled her to a stunning 23 Grand Slam victories.

After Emma Radukanu beat Serena Williams in Cincinnati, it was a quick goodbye.

Radukanu praised his opponent after the huge win in Cincinnati

Radukanu praised his opponent after the huge win in Cincinnati

The 40-year-old quickly stormed out of court after a ruthless Raduganu defeated her.

The 40-year-old quickly stormed out of court after a ruthless Raduganu defeated her.

Raduganu produced one of the best displays of the year to beat Williams 6-4, 6-0.

Raduganu produced one of the best displays of the year to beat Williams 6-4, 6-0.

Raduganu paid tribute to Williams after the match, saying it was an honor to play with her

Raduganu paid tribute to Williams after the match, saying it was an honor to play with her

Trailing 4-1 and 40-15 in the first set, Williams dominated the next few points on her forehand alone and sent the crowd into a frenzy as she took the game.

But this is where Radukanu responded well. Her shot selection was brilliant, her own forehand was good and she responded to a break – and Williams held to love – with some powerful serves.

Radukanu never allowed Williams or the crowd to build momentum throughout the match. Hit 14 winners with one unforced error.

‘I don’t really know that statistic. I think we should all honor Serena and her amazing life,’ Raducanu said later. “I’m so grateful for the experience of acting with her and beyond our careers. It was an honor to share the court with her.

‘The atmosphere was amazing tonight. Even when you (the crowd) cheered for her, I was all for it!

“I was nervous, from the first point to the last point, she can bounce back from anything, and I was glad I was able to stay calm.”

But if Raduganu really felt nervous, no one could tell. It was a laser-focused performance from a 19-year-old who saw the zone from the moment he crossed paths with Williams in the hallway outside the locker rooms.

Williams especially seemed to struggle with her backhand and her serve on Tuesday

Williams especially seemed to struggle with her backhand and her serve on Tuesday

Tennis fans in Cincinnati turned out to cheer Williams against Raduganu

Tennis fans in Cincinnati turned out to cheer Williams against Raduganu

But the 19-year-old has been in terrific form as he prepares for his US Open defence

But the 19-year-old has been in terrific form as he prepares for his US Open defence

Raduganu paid tribute to Williams after the match, saying it was an honor to play with her

Raduganu paid tribute to Williams after the match, saying it was an honor to play with her

For England-based tennis fans, think of it as Wimbledon in reverse. The crowd was completely united behind Serena, as Raduganu said – cheering every point she won as if it had won her a game or a set.

‘Serena the Goat’ and ‘Long live the Queen’ read signs waved aloft as Williams was announced and walked onto the court.

Maybe it suits Radukan. She hasn’t been in the spotlight many times since winning the US Open, but here, against Williams, she was. It’s a confidence-boosting win for her as she prepares to defend her title.

So, it’s one last dance for Williams at the US Open, although she hasn’t openly told fans that Flushing Meadows will be her final. Williams has gone 0-2 since announcing his retirement.

‘Tonight was a match in my eyes, one of the greatest of all time – who knows how many more chances we’ll have to share the court,’ added Raduganu. ‘I think it’s amazing how our careers have overlapped,’ I remember Serena Williams playing, ‘It’s an absolute gift, you get to share the court with the best of all time. You make the most of it for the rest of your life.’

Next up for Raduganu is another former world No. 1, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

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