• Fri. Sep 30th, 2022

Story and photos by

Michael Mitchell

MASON, Ohio — Tennis fans from around the world had eyes on Serena Williams Aug. 16 as she played on center court around 7 p.m. the Western and Southern Open in Mason in her farewell tour and last match to be played in Cincinnati. Her legendary career ends with the US Open in New York City.

Coco Gauff

At Mason, the tennis star was paired up against England’s Emma Raducanu, 19, in the Women’s Singles Tournament. Williams was eliminated in the first round, with a score of 6-4 6-0.

With 23 Grand Slam singles titles under her belt, Williams recently announced she is “evolving away from tennis.

Naomi Osaka

“We’re in a unique time where we got the greatest player in the history of our sport announcing her retirement next week at the U.S. Open. So, I think the opportunity to see her play one last time, as well as Rafael Nadal, the greatest player in the history of the men’s side of the game also coming here for the first time in five years, it’s really a special time for us,” said Tournament Director Eric Butorac.

Venus Williams

Some other matches that were played Aug. 16 had Venus Williams losing to 14th-ranked Karolina Pliskova of Czechia, 7-5, 6-1; Naomi Osaka losing to Shuai Zhang of China, 6-4, 7-5; and Coco Gauff retiring from her match due to a foot injury the second set, losing 7-5, 1-0 to 10th-ranked Marie Bouzkova of Czechia.

Family of Venus and Serena Williams