Emma Raducanu back to winning ways in first match since Australian Open exit

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open - Day 1
Emma Raducanu will next face Wimbledon runner-up Ons Jabeur (Picture: Getty)

Emma Raducanu got back to winning ways in her first match since the Australian Open with victory over Marie Bouzkova in Abu Dhabi.

The British star was handed a wildcard to compete at the WTA 500 event and faced a tough opener when she was drawn to face world No.36 Bouzkova.

But Raducanu battled past her Czech opponent 6-4 6-1 to set up a mouth-watering battle with Wimbledon runner-up Ons Jabeur in the second round.

Raducanu only returned to WTA Tour action in January following nine months ruled out with injury and subsequent surgery.

The 21-year-old impressed in her first tournament back in Auckland before she suffered a second-round exit at the Australian Open to world No.94 Yafan Wang.

The Abu Dhabi Open is Raducanu’s third event since her injury comeback and her superb win over Bouzkova is a huge boost for the 2021 US Open champion, marking her first victory over a player in the world’s top 100 in 11 months.

World No. 296 Raducanu overcame a shaky start – suffering a break in the second game of the first set and found herself 4-2 down after 25 minutes – but she broke her opponent three times and won four consecutive games to prevail 6-4.

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open - Day 1
Emma Raducanu is playing just her third event since April (Picture: Getty)

The second set was far more straightforward for Raducanu with Bouzkova clearly dropping her level as she registered a 6-4 6-1 victory in one hour and 22 minutes.

Raducanu’s win over Bouzkova will see her jump from her current ranking of world No.296 as she starts the long journey to climb back inside the world top 10.

‘In the beginning I was just adjusting to the speed of the court,’ Raducanu said in her on-court interview after the match.

‘It was pretty quick and a lot more still than it had been for the week, because it had been very windy, so it was a different tempo.

‘Marie is a really tough opponent. I knew going in that I was going to have to play so many balls.

‘I think in the beginning I was missing a few of the finishing shots but I cleaned that up, so I’m very happy about that.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *