Emma Raducanu gets tough draw in Abu Dhabi, tricky opener then multiple Slam finalist



© Getty Images Sport – Julian Finney

Emma Raducanu is set for a potentially very tricky Abu Dhabi opener as the 2021 US Open champion has been drawn to meet world No. 36 Marie Bouzkova in the Abu Dhabi Open first round. 

Raducanu, who is debuting at a WTA 250 tournament in Abu Dhabi, is set to clash against 25-year-old Bouzkova for the first time. Although former world No. 24 Bouzkova isn’t ranked among the top players in the world, she is very much capable of playing at a high level and certainly won’t be an easy matchup for Raducanu. 

If Raducanu overcomes Bouzkova, it won’t get any easier as then she will play next against three-time Grand Slam finalist Ons Jabeur, who has a first-round bye in Abu Dhabi since she is the second-seeded player. Should Raducanu, 21, meet Jabeur in the Abu Dhabi round-of-16, that would be their first meeting on the main level. 

Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport – Julian Finney

 

Raducanu hopes to have another positive comeback tournament in Abu Dhabi

Following an eight-month absence caused by multiple surgeries, Raducanu’s comeback journey started in the first week of the new season in Auckland, where she earned a win in the first round and competed well against Elina Svitolina in the round-of-16 before losing in three sets to the 2023 Wimbledon semifinalist. 

At the Australian Open, Raducanu also registered one win before exiting in the second round. Although Raducanu didn’t make any really strong runs in her opening two comeback tournaments, she felt happy on the court and most importantly didn’t feel any pain.

“I’m very positive, very happy with how my body is,” Raducanu said after concluding her Australian Open run. 

“I think the wrist in particular was something I struggled with coming back because I just had a setback for a few months, so I couldn’t play until late November again really. 

“Now I feel good. Ankle feels good. If I keep my work consistent I have a good shot. This is obviously only my first trip back.”

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport – Julian Finney

 

If Raducanu can win her opening few matches in Abu Dhabi against strong competition, that would certainly mean a lot to her confidence.



Source link: https://www.tennisworldusa.org/tennis/news/WTA_Tennis/142353/emma-raducanu-gets-tough-draw-in-abu-dhabi-tricky-opener-then-multiple-slam-finalist/

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