Emma Raducanu spoke very highly of Ons Jabeur following their Abu Dhabi Open meeting but admitted it was a match she “needed to forget about.”
After kicking off her Abu Dhabi run with an impressive 6-4 6-1 win over Marie Bouzkova, Raducanu was hoping to earn her first-ever top-10 win on Wednesday against sixth-ranked Ons Jabeur. Unfortunately for Raducanu, she didn’t come anywhere near beating three-time Grand Slam finalist Jabeur as the Tunisian tennis star dismantled the Briton 6-4 6-1 to safely progress into the Abu Dhabi quarterfinal.
Raducanu, 21, and 29-year-old Jabeur were playing against each other for the first time on the main level. After the match, Raducanu honestly admitted Jabeur was just the better opponent and highlighted there were some areas from the Tunisian’s game that she could study and try to add to her game.
Raducanu full of praise for Jabeur, hopes to play Doha next week
“It was a tough match. Ons is a difficult opponent so credit to her, she played really well and it’s just a match that personally I need to forget about,” Raducanu said after the match.
“She’s a great opponent, she has amazing hand skills, makes life really hard for you on the court and especially with the balls which are really heavy. Her defensive skills are great and I think that’s something I can improve on too.”
Early in the match, Raducanu found herself down by two breaks to Jabeur as the Tunisian led 5-1 through the opening six games of the match. But Jabeur was made to work before sealing the first set as Raducanu saved a total of four set points over the eighth and ninth games before the Tunisian converted her fifth set point on her serve in the 10th game.
In the second set, Raducanu served out the opening game of the set before Jabeur claimed three breaks in a row and won six consecutive games to oust the Briton in two sets in a very impressive way.
After the match, Raducanu also admitted she is hoping to compete at next week’s WTA 1000 event in Doha. It remains to be seen if Raducanu will be given a main draw wildcard for the first WTA 1000 event of the year in Doha.