WTA

Emma Raducanu overcomes slow start to storm past Marie Bouzkova in Abu Dhabi

By Sports Desk February 05, 2024

Emma Raducanu breezed into the last 16 of the Abu Dhabi Open with a 6-4 6-1 win over world number 26 Marie Bouzkova.

Raducanu recovered from a slow start to win 10 of the last 11 games and seal a meeting with second seed Ons Jabeur in the next round.

It was another promising display from the 21-year-old, who had impressed in her first-round win over Shelby Rogers at last month’s Australian Open.

Her aggressive tactics stunned her opponent, a 2022 Wimbledon quarter-finalist, as she hit back from an early break to reel off four games in a row and take the first set.

There was no looking back for Raducanu in the second as she pressed home her advantage to seal another win that suggests her injury problems may be a thing of the past.

Raducanu had returned from eight months out due to multiple wrist and ankle surgeries at the Auckland Open, where she pushed Elina Svitolina to three sets.

And her run in Australia was ended in round two where she defied a stomach bug to push Wang Yafan all the way in a match lasting just five minutes short of three hours.

Raducanu said: “I think in the beginning I was just adjusting to the speed of the court. I hadn’t played on this court this year yet, so I was kind of just adjusting.

“It was pretty quick and also a lot more still than it had been for the week, because it’s been very windy, so it was a different tempo. Marie is a really tough opponent.

“I knew that going in I was going to have to play so many balls and 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.”

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