Abu Dhabi: Emma Raducanu crushes No. 36 to set up showdown against Slam finalist

Raducanu off to a very good start to the Abu Dhabi Open.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Abu Dhabi: Emma Raducanu crushes No. 36 to set up showdown against Slam finalist
© Getty Images Sport - Francois Nel

Emma Raducanu has made an outstanding start at the Abu Dhabi Open as the Briton ousted world No. 36 Marie Bouzkova to safely progress into the round-of-16.

Raducanu, who received a wildcard for the Abu Dhabi Open, impressively dropped a total of games en route to dismantling former world No. 24 Bouzkova 6-4 6-1. Raducanu, 21, and 25-year-old Bouzkova played against each other for the first time. 

By beating Bouzkova, Raducanu set up an Abu Dhabi round-of-16 meeting against three-time Grand Slam finalist Ons Jabeur. Jabeur, seeded at No. 2, had a first-round bye in Abu Dhabi and she is starting her run from the round-of-16 by clashing against Raducanu on the main level for the first time.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Francois Nel
 

How Raducanu beat Bouzkova to set up a Jabeur match?

After Bouzkova served out the opening game of the match, the next six games were all breaks of serve. After being down three times by a break and three times getting a break back, Raducanu finally served out one of her service games in the eighth game to tie the opener to four games apiece.

Then, Raducanu earned her fourth consecutive break in the ninth game to open a 5-4 lead, before serving out for the first set in the following game. 

After being three times up by a break and failing to capitalize on her lead and losing the first set, Bouzkova managed to save a break point in the opening game of the second set and go 1-0 up. But that was all from Bouzkova as Raducanu won the next six games to complete her two-set win in a very impressive way.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Francois Nel
 

Now, Raducanu is set for a difficult task as world No. 6 Jabeur certainly won't be an easy opponent to beat. 

Interestingly, Raducanu and Jabeur are set to meet in Abu Dhabi for the second time. However, it will still be their first meeting on the main level as their 2022 Abu Dhabi meeting was an offseason exhibition that was held in 2022 December - which Jabeur won. 

The performance against Bouzkova has likely boosted Raducanu's confidence and there is no doubt that the Briton would absolutely love to beat Jabeur and clinch her first top-10 win of the year.

Emma Raducanu
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