Serena Williams will open Cincinnati against Emma Raducanu.

Serena Williams to play Emma Raducanu in Cincinnati next week . Williams announced her retirement plans last week .

When the US tennis greats farewell tour begins in Cincinnati next week, Serena Williams will face reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu in a first-round match.Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, announced this week that the countdown has started to count down to her retirement, with the 40-year-old expected to bid farewell after a final major campaign at the US Open in late August.Williams defeated Spain's Nuria Parrizas Diaz in the first round at Toronto last week, winning her first singles match in more than a year.She revealed in a Vogue article and on Instagram that she was transitioning away from tennis before she revealed it.

Williams is on a new challenge in Cincinnati, where she is a two-time champion.Williams-Raducanu will face either Victoria Azarenka of the 20th or Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, the 31st-ranked winner.Azarenka, 33, is a two-time Grand Slam champion and former world number one who missed the Toronto tournament due to visa problems.Williams, who was 17 years old when she won the US Open for the first time, has never played 19-year-old Briton Raducanu, who rose to stardom as a qualifier last year.

Raducanu said Williams had changed the game following the Americans' announcement of her retirement plans last week.In the womens game, there hasn't been anyone who has dominated like her.Williams has also admired how long she has been a force in the sport, from her first Grand Slam title to her most recent at the 2017 Australian Open, which was followed by trips to the US Open and Wimbledon finals in 2018 and 2019.A lot of players, and me particularly, aspire to achieve this longevity of a career, Raducanu said.