Emma Raducanu defeats Marie Bouzkova in impressive Abu Dhabi win

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 impressive win over Bouzkova is a huge boost for the 2021 US Open champion.

World No. 296 Raducanu overcame a shaky start, suffering a break in just the second game of the first set, but broke her opponent straight back in game three.

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open - Day 1

Emma Raducanu is playing just her third event since April (Picture: Getty)

Her unforced error handed Bouzkova break point in game four, though, which she converted to restore her lead over the Briton.

Raducanu refused to give up and broke to love in game five but missed the chance to draw level in her next service game as Bouzkova broke her again.

Raducanu then went 40-0 up on her opponent’s serve once more, and after another break, she held to make it 4-4, with a final break and hold seeing her take a topsy-turvy first set 6-4.

The second set was far more straightforward for Raducanu with Bouzkova dropping her level, as the British star raced into a quick 4-1 lead.

Raducanu held to lead 5-1 and another break saw her win 6-4 6-1 in a match which lasted 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.

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